The world’s largest cricket stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad was renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium and inaugurated on Wednesday by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah; his son Jay Shah, who is Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary; and others.
The rebuilt stadium is a part of the proposed, sprawling Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave, which includes the world’s largest cricket stadium, a natatorium (indoor swimming pool), facilities for athletics and track and field sports, a football stadium, a field hockey and tennis stadium, indoor sports halls and arenas, velodrome/ skating area, and outdoor fields. The enclave is spread in over 220 acres on the Sabarmati river bank in the north east area of Ahmedabad.
The President laid the foundation stone for the sports enclave along with the inauguration of the rebuilt cricket stadium.
In his speech, Mr. Shah said that Ahmedabad will become the city with state-of-the-art sports infrastructure of international standards after the completion of the Sardar Patel Sports Enclave.
“Coupled with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave and the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will also be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event,” Mr. Shah said at the inauguration ceremony.
The new stadium at Motera, set up by the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), is a dream project of the PM, to demolish the old stadium completely and rebuild in its place a new one, which would be the largest in the world with the best of its class facilities.
“This stadium was conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was president of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time,” President Ram Nath Kovind said during his inaugural address on Wednesday.
The old stadium, with 49,000 seating capacity, was known as the Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium, where many historically important matches were played. It hosted 12 Tests, 23 One Day Internationals, and one T20 between 1982 and 2016.
Construction of the new stadium began in 2016. It has been built at an estimated cost of ₹800 crore. The refurbished stadium is spread over a 63-acre plot. According to the GCA, the newly built stadium has a total capacity of 1,32,000. It significantly surpasses the capacity of the hitherto largest Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, which can host 90,000 spectators. There are three entry points to the stadium.
The new stadium has four dressing rooms with world-class facilities, and a built-in clubhouse with 55 rooms. The clubhouse has facilities for both indoor and outdoor games, restaurants, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a gym, and a 3D projector theatre.
This is the first time the field of an Indian cricket stadium has been fitted with LED lights.
On the same day last year, on February 24, the Prime Minister hosted U.S. President Donald Trump with the mega ‘Namaste Trump’ event at the stadium.