The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) has taken a significant step in its plan to develop the world’s third largest cricket stadium after securing the land for the project.
The new 75,000-seat stadium will be located 25km from Jaipur on land near the village of Chonp. Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) has now handed over the land lease contract to the RCA, meaning the project can move forward.
“It is a major step in taking forward the construction work of RCA’s new stadium,” said RCA president Vaibhav Gehlot, according to the Times of India newspaper. “We deposited the lease amount and JDA commissioner Gaurav Goyal handed us the land deed.
“The next step will be to float tenders for the construction work. After the entire verification, we will lay the foundation stone, and that will take two-and-a-half months or so.”
First revealed in July 2020, the new facility will be the third largest cricket venue in the world, after Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The stadium is being designed by Indore-based Mehta & Associates, along with Delhi-based sports design architect GRAS.
The stadium complex is planned across 100 acres of land and will also include a multi-purpose training academy, a modern club house with an indoor sports facility, plus the potential to include two additional international-standard cricket grounds with 30 practice nets.
Gehlot said the RCA has received a pledge from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) concerning an infrastructure grant of Rs100 crore (£9.7m/€11.3m/$13.4m). Regarding additional financing, he added: “We are also in talks with different banks from which we can take a loan of Rs100 crore.
“There is a target of Rs80-90 crore that we are aiming for which we will try to secure from different corporate houses for the work pertaining to corporate boxes and the pavilion. RCA will also add some amount in the kitty. In the first phase we will try to complete the seating capacity of 40,000 and the budget for this has been estimated to be between Rs300-350 crore.”
The first phase of the project is expected to take around two and a half years to complete, after which the remaining seats are intended to be added. A JDA official said the RCA also hopes to develop a hotel on the land, but this will only be approved once 50% of construction is completed.
The RCA is also working on the redevelopment of Barkatullah Khan Stadium, a 40,000-capacity ground that opened in 1986 in Jodhpur. Gehlot said: “The Rajasthan government had this year allocated a budget of Rs20 crore to get the Jodhpur stadium revamped and the work is in full progress there.
“The work will be over by mid-October and we can host the domestic tournaments there in November-December.”
The new-look Motera Stadium was officially renamed Narendra Modi Stadium on the day it officially sealed its status as the world’s largest cricket venue on February 24, as India and England took to the field in Ahmedabad.
The 110,000-capacity stadium, which staged the third and fourth Tests between the two countries, was named in honour of India’s Prime Minister, who inaugurated the stadium with former US President, Donald Trump, at a ceremony a year ago.
Image: Vaibhav Gehlot