Lease renewed at Chennai cricket stadium

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has struck a new lease deal at the historic M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, India.

The new lease arrangement, which has received government approval, will run for 21 years.

The TNCA said that it will now work alongside the Madras Cricket Club, a fellow leaseholder at the stadium, in an effort to open up three stands that have been unoccupied for four years.

However, the leaseholders would appear to be in a race against time to secure approval for Stands I, J and K to open for the upcoming India v West Indies one-day international contest on December 15.

The stands were closed to the public by a Supreme Court order in 2015 that stated that the safety of spectators could not be guaranteed, following a complaint by Chennai Corporation, the ultimate leaseholder.

However, TNCA is confident that the stands could be reopened swiftly if a required reconfiguration to ensure sufficient space between Stand K and the adjoining pavilion can be completed. Regulations require there to be a gap of at least eight metres between the facilities, but the current gap is just 5.4 metres.

TNCA acknowledged though that in addition to any building work, a significant clean would be required before fans can be welcomed back.

The stands, which hold a total of 12,000 spectators, were originally built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which was co-hosted by India along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Tamil Nadu has played at the stadium since it opened in 1916.

Image: Prasad1287