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Motera Stadium to place Gujarat on ‘sporting map’

Populous has said the Motera Stadium will put the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) on the “global sporting map” after the record-breaking venue had its high-profile inauguration earlier this week.

On Monday, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and President of the United States, Donald Trump, helped to inaugurate the 110,000-seat stadium (pictured earlier this month) in the Indian city of Ahmedabad during the ‘Namaste Trump’ gala.

Designed by Populous in collaboration with India’s top construction contractor, Larsen & Toubro, the stadium was developed within three years at a cost of $100m (£77.7m/€91m). Officially named Sardar Patel Stadium and home to the GCA, the venue has become the largest capacity cricket stadium in the world.

The new Motera Stadium has been built after the old venue, with a seating capacity of 53,000, was demolished in 2015. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which has a seating capacity of 95,000, previously held the title of the world’s biggest cricket venue. Eden Gardens in Kolkata had been India’s largest cricket ground with a capacity of 62,000.

Lead architect and senior principal for Populous, Andrew James, said: “Cricket is the biggest sport in India and this stadium has been designed to bring together as many fans as possible, creating an incredible atmosphere for international cricket, IPL (Indian Premier League) matches through to regional and community games.

“Every one of the 110,000 seats has uninterrupted sightlines of the field and pitch, and with a deliberate round, open stadium providing 360-degree views, you feel you’re a part of what’s happening.

“Drawing on our expertise with cricket and major sports venues around the world, the bowl design consists of two large seating tiers, each with approximately 50,000 general admission seats, designed to fill the lower levels for smaller events and still bring that sense of occasion, the sight and the sound to make every experience a special one.”

Populous’ masterplan includes a community indoor cricket academy housed under the stadium, with a dormitory for up to 40 athletes, six indoor practice pitches and three outdoor practice fields.

The stadium design features four-team dressing rooms and facilities, state-of-the-art club facilities and a VIP pavilion, three practice grounds, an indoor cricket academy, an Olympic-size swimming pool, 76 corporate boxes and a media lounge with press rooms.

James added: “The stadium will become an iconic sports venue for both aspiring and elite players. It will become one of the world’s great cricket stadiums, putting the Gujarat Cricket Association on the global sporting map.”

While the presence of Trump at Monday’s inauguration created headlines for the stadium across the world, it is as yet unclear when it will host its first major sporting event. Populous explained that the 36-acre site was the main challenge behind delivering the project.

A Populous spokesperson told TheStadiumBusiness.com: “The sheer scale of this project presented the biggest challenge. On top of that the site itself was barely large enough to fit the width of the stadium and had to design around the preservation of an existing temple on the site too.”

With regards to delivering a stadium that both meets the latest standards in the industry and delivers a high-class fan experience, the spokesperson added: “Cricket is the most popular sport in India and this is about providing a stadium for all people to access.

“People in India identify with cricket as a national sport, a game that unites everyone. It holds a deep passion within them and Motera Stadium provides both the capacity for 110,000 fans to attend any match, with the majority (100,000) of them as general admission seats. The stadium will not just be for major local and international cricket matches, it will also be for community use.”

Images: Gujarat Cricket Association