The 2024 Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup will not take place at Van Cortlandt Park after all. Instead it is now destined to be at another park in New York state: Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, Long Island.
The news that a temporary 34,000-seat stadium will not be built at the parade ground of Van Cortlandt Park is good for nearby residents and electeds who represent New York City’s third largest park.
“The people of Riverdale won,” U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres told The Riverdale Press. “I think we collectively defeated an outrageous background deal to privatize public parkland. The city proposed sectioning a massive amount of land to a private entity for private use all without the barest attempts of community engagement.”
This move would have violated the public trust doctrine which prohibits local governments like New York City, from depriving the public of public land without going through the state legislature, he said. If the city had been allowed to move forward without public review it would have set a dangerous precedent for the privatization of public lands, he added.
“This plan, done with zero community input, would have built a temporary 34,000-seat stadium in Van Cortlandt Park,” Councilman Eric Dinowitz wrote on social media Sept. 20. “New Yorkers would have lost access to this public space, and the project could have done untold damage to the park and the Enslaved African Burial Ground. This plan also ignored park alienation, environmental review, and ULURP (uniform land use review procedure) laws.”
Since the proposal came to light in July, Councilman Dinowitz, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and U.S. Rep. Torres had shared their many concerns about the plan that would have cut off access to parts of the park for up to six months.
Earlier this month, the three electeds met at Van Cortlandt Park, alongside Councilman Shekar Krishnan, and community members to give the proposal a big resounding “NO.”
For those who may have been looking forward to having a tourney close to home, you may still be in luck as the International Cricket Council has chosen an alternate location at Eisenhower Park on Long Island.
“Nassau County is excited to partner with the ICC to host the Men’s T20 World Cup, one of the most popular sporting events in the world,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said in a news release. “With more than one billion fans worldwide, this event will attract fans from all around the world to Eisenhower Park.”
“An agreement has been reached for the construction of a 34,000-seat modular stadium in Eisenhower Park, a purpose-built sports and events park in Nassau County, New York,” the ICC announced Wednesday morning.
“We’re delighted to announce the three USA venues that will host part of the biggest ICC Men’s T20 World Cup ever staged, with 20 teams competing for the trophy,” said ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice. “The USA is a strategically important market and these venues give us an excellent opportunity to make a statement in the world’s biggest sport market.
In addition to Nassau County, there will also be two other venues in the states, one in Dallas and another in Miami. This marks the first time the U.S. has ever hosted the tournament as they co-host it with the West Indies next year.
A spokesperson for the Adams administration congratulated Nassau County on their selection as a host for the World Cup.
“New York City put forward a competitive bid reflective of the diversity of our city and the countless immigrant communities who call it home, and we appreciate their support,” deputy press secretary Amaris Cockfield said in a statement to The Riverdale Press.
“While we were hopeful that New York City would be selected, we invite attendees to stay in New York City hotels and to enjoy the incredible entertainment, cultural organizations, restaurants, and other attractions that make New York City the best destination for major events and visitors from around the world and that create economic opportunities for the hard-working New Yorkers who make our city run.”
It was estimated that hosting the tournament at Van Cortlandt Park would have brought in an anticipated $150 million or more in revenue for the local economy. However, for many that potential revenue was largely overshadowed by concerns of park goers losing access to parts of their beloved park, local cricket players losing a large chunk of their season due to the construction, potential damage to nearby sensitive wildlife and concerns that the stadium would not be “temporary” as promised.
“The outcome represents a triumph of people power,” Torres said to The Press. “We sent a powerful message that Van Cortlandt Park does not belong to the government. It belongs to we, the people.”