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From cricket to soccer, the journey of Central Broward Stadium

central broward stadium fort lauderdale strikers

You can build a new stadium or you can do with what you already have. The second choice is not always easier, especially if you're a soccer Club and moving into a cricket ground. Renovation is the key word, in this cases, but it must be done in a wise way.

That's what the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have just done with their "new" Central Broward Stadium, an interesting case of adaptation and preservation of the building's main features.

fort lauderdale strikers

You've certainly heard of the Strikers, a NASL Club based in Florida. They have a good squad and Ronaldo is among the owners. But, most of all, they've done a very good job with their new home and here's why.

The current team, founded in 2006, is the "new" version of those original Strikers playing in the old NASL between 1977 and 1983 - and those were the days of Pelés and Beckenbauers, before the dawn of the modern MLS.

After playing for two years at the Tropical Park (a field used also for football and athletics, with two small stands on both sides of the pitch), the Strikers moved to the Lockhart Stadium in 2009 and eventually played there until 2015. This was the home ground of the original Club, back in the 80s, built in 1959 and still existing nowadays.

This year, anyway, to renew the Club's identity and improve the matchday experience, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers moved to the Central Broward Stadium. Opened in 2007 this building has a peculiar trait: it was specifically designed for cricket and, in fact, it is the only ground of its kind, in the US, certified by International Cricket Council and able to host international matches.

But, there's an issue: cricket grounds are circular, soccer's are not. So, how can you fit a rectangle into a circle, especially from a spectators point of view?

central broward stadium map

It was not an easy task and, in order to complete it, you certainly have to settle for a few compromises. The purpose was genuine, though, and the Club's efforts are not reduced, not even now that the ground is fully operated and some competitive matches have been played.

The soccer field has been placed on the south side of the ground, just in front of the semicircular main stand: a covered structure with sixteen rows of seats and marked by the central building, with Club's offices, the main entrance and executive boxes. A glass façade look towards the pitch while the building itself resembles the colonial architectures in a very modern way.

Average distance between the pitch and the first row of seats is 11 metres (the nearest are just 4m from the field) and this is a great improvement from the Lockhart Stadium era, with the stands at 10-12m from the action.

central broward stadium strikers architettura

On the north side of the ground - the unused portion of the cricket pitch - a "Kids Zone" is organized on matchdays, as well as another set of bench seats, tent of refreshments and cover for sun/rain (named Club 77 Area).

The geographical position was another important reason for the move. The stadium is in the middle of Central Broward Regional Park, a park with a lot of amenities and sporting fields, in Lauderhill, Broward County. Basketball, netball, tennis courts and a 1.5 mile waking trail are just an example of what can be found there.

Reaching the area is easy from every angle of Florida, with the park being very well linked to the State Road 7, and even inside the ground the Club paid a lot of attention to accessibility for everyone. Disabled fans can find their place in the first row of the main stand, and even in the top row, using elevators located in the central fieldhouse.

central broward stadium strikers architettura

Strikers' training ground is also situated inside the park while a VIP pavilion can be found just north of the ground, with exclusive services for season ticket holders. Match tickets at 15$, with free admission for kids under12, give the chance to everyone to enjoy a game here and be part of the Strikers family.

Last but not least, after every match the Club - via their social accounts - ask their fans for feedbacks about the matchday experience and whether they enjoyed the ground and its facilities or not. This is a very good idea in order to do always better "with" and "for" the fans, creating a relationship with the people and eventually enhancing some arrangements and structures.

Recent rumours stated that the Club's future could be in danger, and we hope it will not be the case. What have been done with the adaptation of Central Broward Stadium is, in fact, an effort that certainly deserves consideration regardless of what will eventually happen in the near future.

Many thanks to Derek Reese, creative and marketing coordinator at Fort Lauderdale Strikers, for his invaluable help

* the original version of this article was published on, here

* every photo in this article is © Fort Lauderdale Strikers

central broward stadium strikers architettura

central broward stadium strikers architettura

central broward stadium strikers dettagli
central broward stadium strikers

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