CPL returns Stateside for 2017
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC):
Organisers of the Caribbean Premier League say that the tournament will once again stage matches in the United States during the upcoming campaign.
Six games were successfully staged at the Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last year, marking the first time fixtures in the tournament had been played outside the Caribbean.
Damien O'Donohoe, chief executive of the CPL, said last year's success had been a deciding factor in once again scheduling games for the Sunshine State.
"In excess of 30,000 fans packed our American leg of matches in 2016, with over half of those attendees travelling south from New York and as far west as Texas and Los Angeles. Tourists who attended these matches also spent more than $4.75 million in the local economy," O'Donohoe said.
"This indicates a huge appetite for the game across North America and we welcome the opportunity to play our part in USA cricket's future plans. We have committed to a community outreach programme to ensure the impact of the Hero CPL goes beyond the field of play.
"The USA provided many highlights last year and we believe the quality of cricket on the field, coupled with the party off it, will generate even greater interest for the upcoming season."
The decision to host games in Florida was an attempt by organisers to expand the base and reach of the tournament.
According to numbers released by CPL recently, the leg of the tournament generated US$12.5 million and captured a television audience of 12.7 million.
In its fifth year, the CPL is scheduled to run from August 4 to September 10, and will also be played at traditional venues in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Lucia and St Kitts.