The new Sardar Patel Stadium in the Indian city of Ahmedabad is nearing the end of construction, with US President Donald Trump reportedly being lined up to help inaugurate what will be the world’s largest cricket venue.
The 110,000-seat stadium has been under construction since January 2017 after the old Sardar Patel stadium, with a seating capacity of 53,000, was demolished in 2015. It was reported last month that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had submitted a request to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to sanction an exhibition match between representative teams of Asia and the Rest of the World in March, an event that would officially open the new stadium.
However, the Times of India newspaper, citing key officials in the Indian government, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump will likely inaugurate the stadium together during the President’s upcoming state visit to India.
TOI, citing top government sources, said an informal communication was received from the Indian government, asking the Gujarat state government to make the necessary arrangements for a possible visit by Trump, along with Modi. A government source told the newspaper: “We have been told by Centre that both leaders will be in Ahmedabad for a day and will take part in the inauguration ceremony of the new Motera stadium. This could happen between February 15 and 22.”
Reports in India at the time of the commencing of construction suggested that the project would cost approximately Rs7bn (£75.2m/€88.6m/$98.3m). The price tag for the Populous-designed stadium is since said to have risen to around Rs8bn.
Once complete it is set to usurp Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which has a seating capacity of 95,000, as the world’s biggest cricket venue. Eden Gardens in Kolkata is currently India’s largest cricket ground with a capacity of 62,000.
The new venue, pictured earlier this month, will have 75 corporate boxes, four-team dressing rooms and associated facilities, a state-of-the-art clubhouse and an Olympic-size swimming pool. It will also be connected to Ahmedabad’s metro rail system.
Image: Saj Sadiq