The leaders of Canberra's bid for a Big Bash licence are set to reach out to the 14,000-strong cricket community and could launch a membership drive to get a jump on prospective rivals.
Millionaire businessman and Cricket ACT director Mark McConnell has put together an advisory group to start plotting the capital's path to joining the lucrative competition.
Gaining entry to the Big Bash is viewed as a two or three-year project, but it could pave the way for major capacity and amenity upgrades at Manuka Oval in the coming years.
One of the first steps will be building momentum within the established Canberra cricket community and developing a membership model to show Cricket Australia there is established support for the bid.
It's a similar move to the A-League4Canberra bid almost a decade ago, which gathered 20,000 signatures to support a team and recruited 2000 foundation members who paid $200 each.
The A-League bid was unsuccessful and the Football Federation Australia burnt the capital's soccer community, but it is hoped Canberra's established cricket facilities and player base will give them an advantage.
Manuka Oval is an international venue and will host a Test between Australia and Sri Lanka during the 2018-19 summer.
However, the ageing venue needs significant upgrades before hosting its first Test. The prospect of a Big Bash team could prompt the ACT government to invest more in the ground.
Cricket ACT is also building a $6 million training facility at Phillip and McConnell believes a 12,000 capacity at Manuka Oval is a good starting point before a potential 20,000-seat redevelopment in the future.
"The return on investment in any additional capital works at Manuka Oval will pay itself back pretty quickly," McConnell said.
"Manuka is a good facility, but it can be a great facility. There's still a fair bit of temporary seating there and in the fullness of time it would be good to see that become more permanent, more corporate facilities and more of the ground undercover.
"But you've got to justify that. We have to demonstrate that it would be sustainable and we could keep filling the ground."
The GWS Giants have also started negotiations with the government about extending a 10-year, $23 million deal to play AFL games in Canberra.
The Giants were keen to invest in a Manuka Oval upgrade last year, but their $800 million 'Manuka Green' proposal was rejected by the government.
Giants chief operating officer James Avery said: "We've got an excellent relationship with Cricket ACT and Cricket Australia, but it'd be premature to consider anything in depth until we get the chance to sit down and talk to those guys about what they've got in mind.
"[Manuka Oval] needs an upgrade in capacity and we'll continue to talk to the government and the community at the appropriate times about what form that takes and when that progresses."
McConnell will be joined by lawyer Kate Corkery, basketball coaching great Carrie Graf, ActewAGL's Ayesha Razzaq, Todd Wills of Ernst and Young and Cricket ACT champion Cade Brown on the advisory group.
"We've got 14,000 in the Canberra cricket community. We want to keep the local sport talent that they can see out their aspirations here," McConnell said.
"We'll be looking to the Canberra community for a lot of support and we're currently we're working through different membership structures and we hope to have more on that in the next few months.
"We know there are keen people out there to participate and there is already an established community there."
Cricket Australia is yet to detail its plans for Big Bash expansion, but Canberra is expected to compete against Geelong, the Gold Coast and several others for a licence.