The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad will surpass the Melbourne Cricket Ground when completed. The Motera stadium, that had a capacity of 54,000, will seat about 110,000 fans when it is fully overhauled in about a couple of years.
India have some of the world’s biggest sports facilities. The hallowed Eden Gardens once accommodated more than 100,000 fans until it was modernised. That reduced the capacity by almost 40 per cent. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, essentially a multi-sport facility but mainly soccer, can seat a lakh.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is currently the biggest cricket facility in the world with a seating capacity of 90,000.
The Sardar Patel cricket stadium in Motera has hosted 12 Test matches and 24 one-day internationals since it was inaugurated in 1982.
In December last year, Gujarat Cricket Association’s vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani had handed over the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to Larsen & Toubro (L&T) director M.V. Sathish. L&T will undertake the expansion project.
The old stadium was razed recently by the GCA to build the new stadium, spread across 63 acres.
“The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 700 crore. The stadium will have 76 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, a club house and an Olympic-size swimming pool, said Nathwani.
To cope-up with the traffic congestion issues, which is common during matches, Nathwani announced that the stadium will have three entry points instead of one.
“In the new stadium, traffic will be segregated in three directions. Apart from the old Sabarmati to Motera road, there is a planning to integrate Metro Rail, which will pass from here. Third option is to link the Sabarmati Riverfront road with the stadium,” said Nathwani.
He also hinted that there is possibility that upon completion the new stadium will have a new name.
(With PTI inputs)