Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise the Delhi Capitals has entered into an agreement to maintain and upgrade Arun Jaitley Stadium in what is being looked upon as a landmark deal for cricket in the country.
The Times of India said the deal with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), owner and operator of the stadium, will see the Capitals seek to have an input into the running of the venue, beyond the IPL season.
The deal is said to have stemmed from a meeting earlier this month between Capitals officials, including co-owner Parth Jindal, and DDCA president Rohan Jaitley and directors. The DDCA is set to benefit from the agreement as Arun Jaitley Stadium prepares to host games during India’s staging of the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Initial talks are said to have focused on the Capitals agreeing to spend approximately Rs750m (£7.09m/€8.28m/$9.12m). This will be on top of the Rs500m that DDCA is due to receive from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for stadium upgrades in the run-up to the World Cup.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and BCCI last month finally confirmed the schedule for the World Cup, with Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final, along with the box office game between the host nation and Pakistan. Arun Jaitley Stadium is due to be Delhi’s host venue.
A source told the Times of India: “There have been discussions to set up two classy hospitality boxes in the stadium. The idea is to set up temporary boxes by the World Cup and finish the project by the next IPL.
“The stadium has received many complaints with regards to crowd experience during matches. DDCA and Capitals have put that as a priority. Football stadiums in Europe are managed by corporates to maintain facilities for their club teams. This move will be somewhat in that direction.
“Now with the Women’s Premier League (WPL) set to be played in the home-and-away format, Capitals will need the stadium for more than just two months of IPL.”
Formerly known as Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, the facility is one of India’s most historic cricket venues having initially opened in 1883.