Major league cricket headed to Seattle with newly-planned Marymoor venue

Feb 28, 2022, 3:13 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2023, 2:42 pm
Early-stage rendering of Marymoor Cricket Community Park (Courtesy Major League Cricket)
(Courtesy Major League Cricket)

One of Seattle area’s iconic parks, Marymoor, is slated to begin construction of a major league cricket facility as early as 2023.

Last week, the King County Council passed a motion to greenlight the King County’s parks department to work collaboratively with the city leaders in Bellevue and Redmond to construct a major league cricket facility at Marymoor Park. The unanimous approval vote follows similar moves made by city councils in both cities.

The venue, tentatively labeled the “Marymoor Cricket Community Park,” would be situated on 20 acres at Redmond’s Marymoor Park, and would function as a professional venue for Major League Cricket (MLC). The venue would also host youth and adult casual games as it is designated for multipurpose use.

The proposal notes that the United States will host the 2024 Cricket World Cup, and were the Seattle area to have a cricket facility up and running by then, it would become a potentially attractive location.

“Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world with some three and a half billion fans worldwide, and it has a growing fanbase here in King County,” Councilmember Rod Dembowski said in council session on Feb. 22.

Marymoor Cricket Community Park would accommodate 4,000 to 6,000 spectators with scaling ability to accommodate as many as 10,000.

Major League Cricket currently has six teams in the United States scheduled to begin play in 2023. Seattle is home to a minor league franchise, the Seattle Thunderbolts, which practices out of North Bend. Its 2022 season is scheduled to begin in June.

“Sports and outside recreation [are] evolving,” King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci said. “One thing we found some years ago was that cricket has really been booming in East King County and probably other parts of King County as well. There’s just not enough space for it. What you’re seeing from the community is the tremendous demand for a space to play at the highest level.”

“There are opportunities for us to have truly world-class cricket right here in our backyard, right next to the light rail station. I think it’s great that this partnership is coming together.”

Seattle hosts three adult league cricket programs, 3,500 members large.

“I went to a [cricket] tournament last summer at Marymoor and I learned so much, but I was so impressed by the families that were coming together from various parts of the world, from West Indies, South Africa, India, Pakistan … they’re united because of their interest in the sport and anything that brings people together,” Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer added.

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Major league cricket headed to Seattle with newly-planned Marymoor venue