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Update: University abandons plans for cricket/baseball field

Neighbors of Mason's Fairfax campus voiced concerns about traffic, environmental issues

[Update, 3/28/24:]

George Mason University officials announced today they would not move forward on plans for the proposed baseball/cricket stadium. 

University president Gregory Washington in a statement said Mason leaders had determined the plan "does not meet the strategic objectives of our campus and community and the Washington Freedom."

More to come ....

[Original coverage, 3/1/24:]

George Mason University’s leadership is gearing up to sit down with residents living near the proposed baseball/cricket stadium on the western portion of the university’s Fairfax campus.

“We hear and respect your questions and concerns about the timing of the project and whether neighbors will have the opportunity to be heard up front. We assure you that you will,” university president Gregory Washington said in a March 1 e-mail.

“Mason is in the advanced stages of scheduling in-person community meetings, and once confirmed, the information will be shared,” Washington wrote in a letter that also was signed by Sanjay Govil, owner of the Washington Freedom cricket team.

It is Govil who hopes to partner with Mason to construct what is described as a temporary stadium to be used both by his team and the university’s baseball squad.

University officials seemed rah-rah about the proposal during a Jan. 29 online forum, but opposition quickly emerged. Increased traffic, environmental concerns and noise/light pollution topped the list of concerns.

The planned stadium has been approved by Mason’s board of visitors. If the current timeline holds, the venue would be ready sometime in 2025.

The six-team Major League Cricket organization plays its matches in the summer months, with George Mason baseball needing field access in autumn and spring. The proposed facility would include fixed seats plus a low berm for additional seating, and would have VIP seating and hospitality facilities.

George Mason’s baseball team currently competes in the 900-seat Spuhler Field, which since its debut in the mid-1980s has seen only limited additional investment. Dugouts didn’t make an appearance until 2016, and there is no lighting or video board – shortcomings that hamper recruiting efforts, university officials said.

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For link to the proposal, including the Jan. 29 online town-hall meeting, see the Website at