This in a good measure answers the criticism by the Congress, which has promised to rename the stadium after Patel if it comes to power. Senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry had said the party would, hence, show the prime minister his “aukaat”.
Prime Minister Modi has since hit back saying he has no aukaat and is a simpleton, while those at the top in the Congress belong to “royal family”.
At the world’s largest cricket stadium though, there is no place for politics. Rather, dreams of the 2036 Olympics are at play. As News18 got the chance of a tour of the sprawling stadium on Saturday, budding cricketers were going hard at the nets outside while a domestic match was on in the ground.
Pictures of PM Modi with cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni adorn the walls of the stadium’s main lobby. Officials raved about the 1.15-lakh spectator capacity of the 63-acre stadium, which goes up to 1.32 lakh if the presence of other staff and functionaries is added.
A full house of nearly 98,000 spectators was witnessed at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium (MCG) during the India-Pakistan match recently at the T20 World Cup. In comparison, the Narendra Modi stadium can accommodate 32 Olympic-size soccer fields.
Its expanse is best viewed from the Presidential Box; there are, in fact, 76 Corporate Boxes, the largest in the world. But officials said this ground had the highest “C value”, meaning that you can see the boundary from each seat in the ground and it is better than even the MCG. The completely pillar-less structure also adds to the spectator experience, officials added.
The MCG parallels
The parallels with the MCG are hard to miss as both the cricket stadiums share the same designer – renowned Australian architect firm Populous. Larsen and Toubro built the stadium, and officials said they had improved upon the MCG. Like, authorities opted to change traditional high mast flood lights during night cricket and have LED lights fixed along the perimeter of the roof providing “shadow-less light”, a first for India.
“This is more comfortable for the players,” an official said, adding how energy was also saved as LED lights consumed 700 units per hour. Traditional high mast flood lights would have consumed about 1,350 units per hour, so the move had saved almost 50 per cent in power consumption.
Also bettering the MCG, this stadium boasts of water drainage within 30 minutes if rain stops. The ground itself is a sight with 11 pitches – six in red soil and five in black soil and four state-of-the-art dressing rooms fitted with two gymnasiums. A 360-degree podium concourse at a height of 9 m allows smooth movement of the crowd while the hi-tech media box promises fastest connectivity.
Built at a record speed of just two years, the stadium will soon be connected through the MEGA Metro transport mode for visitors.
Hectic work is also ongoing in other parts of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave, where more stadiums are coming up for different sports. The BJP, in fact, has promised to make an attempt for the 2036 Olympics in Ahmedabad, pinning its hopes on the success of this sports centre.
“We will launch the ‘Gujarat Olympics Mission’ and create world-class sports infrastructure with an aim to host the Olympic Games in 2036,” the BJP promised in its election manifesto released for the upcoming assembly elections on Saturday.
Officials spoke of a complex for multiple sports like football, hockey, basketball, kabaddi, boxing, lawn tennis and running tracks among others, which will come up here. The stadium already has an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Politics aside, the BJP is thinking big in Motera.
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