T20 World Cup: How did ICC build a stadium in New York in just 5 months, where India and Pakistan will clash?


International cricket is going to be held in New York for the first time. For this, ICC has built a new stadium in Naso County's Eisenhower Park, where a total of 8 matches of the group round will be played. A high-profile match will also be played between India and Pakistan. The story of this stadium, built in just five months, is very interesting.

(Photo: AFP)

In November 2021, the ICC announced the US as the host along with the West Indies for the T20 World Cup. At that time, there were not enough stadiums in the US to host such a big tournament. There were only two venues in the US and the ICC was looking for a third venue, for which New York was chosen. Many T20 matches have already been played in two venues, Florida and Dallas Stadium in Texas, but a match will be played in New York for the first time. The journey to prepare this stadium built in Eisenhower Park in Naso County as the third venue was not so easy for the ICC. Despite many challenges, the ICC prepared this stadium on Long Island within five months.

What were the challenges for ICC?

Although the ICC built the stadium in Naso County in five months, its preparations started 2 years ago. The biggest challenge before building the stadium was to choose a good venue. Its process started in 2022 and Don Lockerbie was selected for this work. Lockerbie, who lives in New York, is the T20 World Cup Venue Development Officer. Earlier, he has also been in this role in the ODI World Cup in 2007 and has experience working in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He shortlisted several venues and sent them to the ICC but all of them were rejected. At the same time, local people objected to the project and protested. Time was passing but the venue was not being found.

Although the ICC had given Lockerbie the task of selecting two venues, he suggested building a large and fully equipped stadium due to lack of time. The ICC agreed to this but the problem of preparing the pitch remained. This was also causing a delay in selecting the venue. Finally, in June 2023, a consensus was reached on the use of drop-in pitches i.e. pitches brought from outside as a solution, and in August 2023, the ICC put forward a proposal for Eisenhower Park in Naso County on Long Island and in November a contract was signed to host 8 matches. Meanwhile, the ICC started preparing pitches in Adelaide, Australia, which took about 4 months to be made.

Stadium work completed in 5 months

After the contract was signed, only 6 months were left to build a 34,000-capacity stadium on the vacant space of Eisenhower Park. After this, it took another month for the work to start. The ICC started work on the site on 8 January 2024, while construction also started on 18 January. Now it had to be ready within 5 months before the warm-up match started in the last week of May. Meanwhile, the work on the stadium continued. As soon as the stadium was ready, 10 pitches were prepared from Adelaide and reached the Eisenhower Park Stadium. Out of these 10 pitches, 4 were fitted for the main match, while 6 were fitted in the practice area. In this way, under the supervision of Lockerbie, the ICC completed this impossible task in just 5 months by working day and night.