Kolkata - Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan
Refurbished at over Rs 100 crore, the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan looks a picture. It took 55 months, 105 meetings between multiple government agencies and inputs from IIT Kharagpur and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, to get the stadium ready to be handed over to Fifa, on September 10. The multi-purpose stadium is now an all-seater venue. The pitch has also been re-laid with natural turf replacing an artificial surface in 2015.
For the World Cup, the stadium will seat 66, 687 people, according to Javier Ceppi, head of the local organising committee of the event. After the World Cup, the capacity will be 80,000, said West Bengal sports minister Arup Biswas. The media tribune, dressing rooms, lobby at the main entrance and the players’ tunnel are among areas built from scratch, almost. And unlike most stadia ahead of a major event, work is not behind schedule.
“It is on a par with all football stadia that has hosted a World Cup final. In terms of looks, it gets a 10,” said Ceppi. That a large amount of renovation was needed made the work difficult here, he said. This is the biggest renovation work undertaken at the stadium that was built in 1984.
On July 13, 1997, 1,31,000 people watched Bhaichung Bhutia score a hattrick as East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan 4-1 in a Federation Cup semi-final. In September 2011, Lionel Messi played here as Argentina beat Venezuela 1-0 through a goal from Nicolas Otamendi. Former Germany skipper Oliver Kahn played here in a Bayern Munich shirt and from Pele to Diego Maradona, the stadium has been graced by some of football’s biggest names.
How to get there
Flights from all major cities in India. Major international airlines to Kolkata include: Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Thai, Air Asia, Druk, Sri Lankan and Bangladesh Biman. Trains from all major cities in India are also available with the four terminal stations being: Howrah Station, Sealdah Station, Shalimar Station and Kolkata Station.
- New Individual Bucket Seats on stadium for all spectators
- Complete renovation of fire fighting system
- Complete renovation of electrical system
- New CCTV System for security
- Complete renovation of Players´ Areas, Media Areas, Spectators Areas
- New Safety and Security Standards
- 4 New Training Grounds with floodlights, dressing rooms and international standard pitch
After football, happy hours...
Park Street: Kolkata’s eat street with iconic restaurants and pubs some of them older than the Howrah Bridge.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari: This is the house where Rabindranath Tagore lived.
Mother House: It is from here that Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity continues the work started by her.
Places of religious and architectural interest: Dakshineswar and Kalighat temples, St Paul’s Cathedral, Birla Temple, Pareshnath Jain Temple.
Places of historical interest: Victoria Memorial Hall, Indian Musuem, National Library.
To the sea: Those who can find time for a night away from Kolkata can travel to Digha, Mandarmoni, Tajpur and Shankarpur.
Visit to Sunderbans: Also a night halt away, a visit to the Sunderbans National Park is recommended.