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Professional Cricket Coming To Atlanta, Seven Other Cities

UPDATE, JULY 13, 4:50 P.M. ET: The story has been updated to identify the specific cities being scouted for stadium sites.

First came baseball bats. Now, it is cricket bats for the next Atlanta professional stadium.

A 2005 cricket match between South Africa and England at Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa

A U.S. professional sports development team has tapped the Atlanta office of JLL to scout sites in the metro area — and seven other states — for a newly established professional cricket franchise. Global Sports Ventures announced last year that it entered into a $70M licensing agreement with the USA Cricket Association to establish eight professional cricket teams in North America, spending an estimated $2.4B on infrastructure and business development.

While no specific sites have been identified yet, JLL International Director David Demarest has been tapped by Philadelphia-based GSV to scout Atlanta and seven other cities for stadium sites: New York; East Brunswick, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Florida; Dallas; Chicago; and San Francisco. The plan is to launch the initial eight teams in time to start a season in 2020, officials said, after which the league will expand by as many as six other markets.

Demarest is no stranger to complex stadium deals, having been involved in talks between the Atlanta Braves and Cobb County for the development of SunTrust Park and the surrounding mixed-use project.

“We know our plans are ambitious, and GSV is committed to launching a professional cricket league in the U.S. by 2020,” GSV Chairman Jignesh “Jay” Pandya stated in an email release.

Each cricket stadium is projected to cost between $70M and $125M with an ancillary mixed-use component of up to $100M each. The projects could include a stadium, parking, a clubhouse, restaurants, hotels, retail, residential and office space, officials said. Officials said the first sites should be revealed in the near future. JLL could not be reached for comment as of press time.