World's largest stadium Motera in Gujarat has been renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium. The newly refurbished stadium was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind today ahead of the India vs England Test match. The state-of-the-art facility can accommodate 1.32 lakh spectators.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present during the inauguration. The stadium will host the fourth Test match between the two countries on March 4.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore, the Narendra Modi Stadium is spread over 63 acres. With a capacity of 1.32 lakh spectators, it has overtaken the erstwhile largest stadium Melbourne Cricket Ground that can accommodate 90,000 people.
"Not just for cricket but it's a proud moment for India. Besides being the largest cricket stadium, it's also one of the most modern stadiums in the world. Ahmedabad is turning out to be the 'sports city' of the country," said Rijiju during the inauguration. "As children, we used to dream about the world's largest stadium in India. And now as sports minister, my happiness knows no bounds that this has finally happened," he added.
Architect firm Populous, the force behind the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the architect of the new stadium. The stadium has 11 pitches made of both red and black soil. It is also the only stadium to have the same soil surfaces for both main and practice pitches. The drainage system in the ground takes only 30 minutes to drain out the water from the time the rain stops. LED lights fixed along the perimeter ensure shadow-less light -- first of its kind in India. It does not have high mast floodlights. There are four dressing rooms for the players, a cricket academy, indoor practice pitches, and two separate practice grounds with small pavilion area.