Work on in full swing at world’s largest cricket facility in India


Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium is expected to be completed in 2020 Image:

Work is on in full momentum at the world’s largest cricket stadium spread over 63 acres of land – Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium at Ahmedabad in India – and is expected to be completed in 2020. Once the stadium is complete, the name might be changed.

The stadium is also known as Motera as it is coming up in the locality which goes by the same name. Motera is in Ahmedabad – a city in the Indian State of Gujarat.

The inaugural match is set to be held in the stadium in March 2020. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, Sourav Ganguly, informed that a request has been placed before the International Cricket Council (ICC) to sanction the exhibition match between representative teams of Asia and the Rest of the World. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is expected to attend the opening ceremony.

Owned by Gujarat Cricket Association, the old 53,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium was totally knocked down in October 2015 to facilitate complete revamp of the same. Once completed, it will be akin to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) of Australia but will be bigger in size.

The price tag of the stadium will be approximately Rs 700 crore (€97m/$103m/£84.9m) and has been designed by global architectural design firm Populous which also designed MCG. In December 2016, the Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai – Larsen & Toubro (L&T Limited) – was given charge of the project. The foundation stone was laid in January 2017 and construction work started immediately.

Stadium Specifics

The new facility will enjoy three access points as against just one in the old venue. It will also enjoy being the largest cricket arena in the world and will boast sitting capacity of 110,000 spectators (double that of the original stadium) that exceeds the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)’s 100,024 official capacity. Currently, MCG is the largest cricket stadium in the world. Its seating capacity will be 10,000 more than MCG’s.

The new venue will feature a spiffy club house with over 50 rooms, 76 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, three practice grounds adjoining the main site, an indoor cricket training academy, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a parking area that can hold up to 3,000 four-wheelers and over 10,000 two-wheelers.

F&B Areas

Span Asia, the one-stop shop for all hospitality needs, has been engaged to help Populous and L&T in all food and beverages related areas, e.g., the concession counters, main stadium kitchens, player kitchens, VIP/VVIP boxes, corporate boxes, press and media boxes, pantries, GCA Club, etc.

The well-known solar power panel manufacturer based in Ahmedabad – Lubi Solar, a division of Lubi Electronics, has been enlisted to provide solar panels, fix them and commission the rooftop solar power plant so that power utilization is a sustainable affair at all levels.

The venue itself will have LED lighting and will be an earthquake-resistant structure. It is 300 meters away from the local metro station.

Dhanraj Nathwani, Vice-President of Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), said, “It may take another five to six months’ time to fully complete the project.” He added that the stadium’s facade, external area development and work on the field of play are currently in progress.

The GCA is procuring both red and black soil to prepare three kinds of pitches within the new arena. “GCA is preparing 11 cricket pitches at the world’s largest cricket stadium. Some pitches will be prepared with red soil, while some will be prepared with black soil and some may have a mix of both. There will be bouncy as well as spin-friendly pitches along with sporting pitches based on the requirement,” Nathwani further informed. The soil is being sourced from Gujarat and other States.

The stadium will also possess excellent ‘sub-surface’ drainage facilities which will allow the outfield to dry out within 30 minutes. “We have planned sub-surface drainage system in such a way that the entire ground will dry within 30 minutes after the rain stops. It will help us reduce the chances of cancellation of matches due to rain,” Nathwani added.

As far as the seating plan is concerned, the venue will accommodate two large seating tiers, each allowing approximately 50,000 general admission seat capacity.

The stadium’s main architect informed that the seating bowl will provide each spectator a full unhindered view of the field.

The designer has made certain that the stadium’s vehicular movement is on the ground level, while the pedestrian movement will be a rung above, thus making it well-defined and ensuring clear segregation. Supporters can make an entry to the facility from the north side which is close to the Ahmedabad metro rail project and can use the 12-meter high ramp to enter the first floor.

Three outdoor practice fields are next to the stadium and the structure will also house a dormitory which can fit in 40 athletes. The academy also has access to six indoor practice pitches.

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