December 3, 2021 (2 Minute Read)

(Photo: Canada Women’s National Cricket Team, 2019, Cricket Canada)

By Nicole Cedrone, Managing Editor of Community and Culture Events

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Mayor Patrick Brown to talk about the new cricket stadium that is being built in Brampton.  Mayor Brown talked about Brampton’s long history of providing sporting facilities for the communities it serves and how they have changed over the years.

“This is no longer 1960” said Mayor Brown. “In those years the City was focused on hockey rinks, tennis courts, football and lacrosse fields, through the latter part of the 20th century baseball diamonds, rugby and soccer fields were added as the community welcomed new Canadians from all over the World who brought with them new sports and leisure activities to appreciate. Cricket represents the latest evolution of that tradition as new demands for field hockey and cricket have become reflective of the modern City Brampton has become in 2021.”

Mayor Brown at GT20 Tournament, Cricket Canada

While Mayor Brown personally enjoys playing hockey and tennis; he noted that that there are plenty of locations across Brampton where residents can participate in those sports. Those sports benefit from established, deep rooted history in the community and continue to be in high demand.

Cricket on the other hand, while well known across the World, has only recently started to experience the same type of demand. Mayor Brown is asking Council to proactively keep up with what our community is asking for build facilities that are more reflective of the community they serve.

The demand for cricket fields has skyrocketed across the City with over 145 cricket teams looking for fields to play. The Mayor wants to help ease that demand and better service the community.

The Mayor explained, “Our population is struggling with rising rates of obesity as children and adults alike have become less active which ultimately impact our health care system. We need to do more to help those looking to be more active and encourage activities that improve both mental and physical health.”

“Investing in recreation should not be viewed as a cost to the treasury and the taxpayers but rather an opportunity to invest in a healthier tomorrow and help the health care system down the road by lowering demand as people age.” 

Mayor Patrick Brown

Cricket is not the only sport on the Mayor’s radar; in fact Mayor Brown says he’s “bullish” on expanding Brampton’s infrastructure for all sports. Council just approved a multipurpose lacrosse facility at Victoria park arena for $26 million; a new ice pad for an additional $29 million, and an investment of $2 million dollars for the City’s own Hall of Fame office.

Mayor Brown wants to see the same type of commitment and investment into cricket as other sports and is hoping the new cricket stadium will be multi-functional as well. A multi-functional sports facility will cater to other community needs.

The cricket stadium’s final location is yet to be determined. Some Councillors are suggesting that the CAA lands would be appropriate while others would like to see the stadium built in the area of Hwy 410 and Queen Street East. Others are advocating for Gore Meadows in the east end of Brampton. The final decisions will be made by Council after they have had a chance to discuss all opportunities at planned workshop to determine the best path forward.

The decision will be an important one as the final location of the stadium will directly impact the community around it and help drive the economy and tourism. A recent cricket match which saw India play Pakistan in the World Cup attracted over 1 billion viewers from across the globe which is comparable to the World Cup of Soccer. In comparison, a Stanley cup game averages about 6 million viewers. 

Brampton’s stadium could certainly host international games, commonwealth games and World Cup qualifier matches…for both men and women national teams.

The demand for the new stadium is high and there will certainly be a lot of use for the facility given it’s uniqueness in Canada; and thereby placing Brampton on the world stage as one of the World’s cricket hot spots.

Brampton is already home to some of the most talented cricket players in the World. Saad Bin Zafar recently played a “perfect” game made which received front page coverage in sporting journals and newspapers in New Zealand, India and the UK. Unfortunately. Canadian coverage was minimal and reflective of a sport that is still trying to establish itself as mainstream in Canada despite the great players we have.

Saad Bin Zafar, Cricket Canada

The building of the stadium will be funded through developers investing into the City. Brampton collects development charges which go into a reserve fund that helps pay for recreation in Brampton. The funds must be spent specifically on recreational needs and there is currently $3 million that needs to be spent in the next few years. Mayor Brown thinks the stadium is an ideal expenditure for those funds.

In addition to hosting cricket games, Council is hoping it will be a multi-use facility which can host soccer games, field hockey and used to train and teach students and adults about sport.  

Mayor Brown concludes, “The more the community can use the facility, the greater the benefit to Brampton and it’s residents”.