Image Credits: Fisto
by Gomathi Rajam
We take a look at some of the sporting India's mega arenas, including some you probably haven't heard of. Despite cricket undoubtedly being a predominant sport, alike the numerous diversities prevalent India also enjoys a diverse range of sports that are played. Associations and Clubs has been set up across India for various sports and it boasts a rich inheritance of infrastructures facilitating various sports. Ranging from the Salt Lake stadium to Eden Garden’s, India has got some of the best stadiums supporting various sports in the world. India owns some of the best multi-purpose stadiums that has hosted some of the best International matches the world has witnessed. Here’s a list of some of the biggest stadiums in India: 10) JSCA STADIUM The JSCA Stadium established in 2011 in Ranchi is the home ground of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association. The stadium has a capacity of about 50,000 seats and being the Home ground of the skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the second home of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL and has hosted two home games of the team. The stadium is one of the well-constructed stadiums in India constructed with a membrane roofing for spectators and the stadium has been constructed in order to avoid the shadow constraints. 9) GREENFIELD INTERNATIONAL STADIUM The stadium in Kerala designed to host both cricket and Football matches is India’s first Design, Built, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) stadium. The stadium with a spectator capacity of 50,000 seats is a multi-purpose stadium with a pavilion that has facilities for Squash, Volleyball, Basketball, table tennis and an Olympic size Swimming Pool. The stadium that has hosted both Cricket and Football matches is the first Eco-friendly stadium in the country. 8) M.A. CHIDAMBARAM STADIUM Popularly referred to as the Chepauk stadium, the M.A.Chidambaram stadium that is extended along the coast, has a favorite memory of the 19 year old Tendulkar fighting against the England’s pacers attached to it. Established in 1916 with a spectator capacity of 55,000 seats the stadium stands to be one of the oldest stadiums in the country and is often referred to as the Master Blaster’s favorite ground owing to the number of splendid innings he has blazed out of his blades in the very ground. The home ground of the Chennai Super Kings, is also known for its supportive crowd that supported the Pakistan team on their win against India in 1999. 7) RAJIV GANDHI INTERNATIONAL CRICKET STADIUM Established in 2005, The Home Ground of Hyderabad Cricket stadium (HCA), has hosted many International matches including 5 Tests, 6ODI’s and 2 T20I’s. With a seating capacity of 55,000 seats the stadium is is also the home ground of the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL. The stadium in honor of VVS Laxman has named the Northern stand after him on his retirement. 6) DY PATIL STADIUM The Multi-purpose stadium in Mumbai, has served the home ground of Mumbai Indians and Mumbai City FC, the Mumbai based Cricket and Football team at the IPL and the ISL respectively. It has also hosted the finals of both the tournaments. Inaugurated lately in 2008, with a capacity of 55,000 seats, the stadium has 9 tennis hard courts, 4 indoor Badminton courts and Olympic sized swimming pool. It also has advanced facilities such as bucket seats and cantilever roofs aimed at providing the best spectator experience. The stadium was also one amongst the locations at which the prestigious FIFA U-17 World Cup was hosted. A Justin Beiber Concert was also hosted at the very stadium. 5) EMS STADIUM EMS Stadium located at the very state Kerala, that is popularly known for the huge Football following crowd is a Multi-purpose stadium predominantly used for Football. Set up in 1977, the stadium which is the current home of the Gokulam Kerala FC I-League team has a seating capacity that can accommodate over 90,000 individuals that makes the stadium one of the biggest stadiums of the country. The stadium underwent a massive renovation after which it became an International Cricket and Football Ground. 4) JAWAHARLAL NEHRU STADIUM The Stadium named after the first Prime Minister of India is a multi-purpose stadium that holds records for hosting the only FIFA event hosted in the country, U-17 FIFA World Cup, Asian Games and the Commonwealth games. With a seating capacity of 60,000 the stadium is the fourth largest stadium in India, 27th largest in Asia and the 103rd largest stadium in the world. Constructed in 1982, the stadium was renovated in 2011 by the German architectural companies Gerkan, Marg and partners and Schlaich Bergermann & Partner to meet the standards set up by International Associations such as AFC, FIFA and IAAF. The stadium located at Delhi is utilized predominantly for Football and athletics has tracks supportive of all-weather conditions and is also the home ground of the Delhi Dynamos. 3) RAIPUR INTERNATIONAL CRICKET STADIUM The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International stadium with a capacity of 65,000 is the second largest cricket stadium in India and the third largest in the world. Located at Chhattisgarh, the stadium inaugurated in 2008 is also the second home of Delhi Daredevils and has hosted many matches for the team. The stadium built and owned by the Government of Chattisgarh has also hosted a “Let us Run” themed half-Marathon. 2) EDEN GARDEN’S KOLKATA The 2016 World Cup finals, that saw the gallery of Eden Garden’s filled with enthusiasts screaming their hearts out, even when India was neither of the participating countries speaks the love for the game in the city. The stadium adjacent to the Eden Gardens, has seen Indian cricket at its best and has staged a number of historic matches and is nevertheless referred to as the Mecca of Indian Cricket. Inaugurated in 1864, the stadium with a humongous number of about 66,000 seats is the largest stadium in the country and second largest in the world after the Melbourne Cricket Ground and prior to its renovation in 2011, the stadium was the largest in the world and many a times it has recorded an audience attendance of 1,00,000. It is one of the oldest stadiums in the country. It is also the home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders. 1) SALT LAKE STADIUM Seated at the Salt Lake City, Bidhannagar, the Salt Lake Stadium owned by the Indian Football Association is the largest stadium in India. Buzzed up with an enormous spectator capacity of 85,000 seats, the stadium also referred to as the Vivekanada Yuva Bharati Kreedangan was inaugurated in 1984. Located at Kolkata, where Football is celebrated the stadium is the home ground of the Indian National Football Team and many Football clubs based on the city. The stadium was renovated in 2011 after which it became the largest stadium of India. The stadium was the prime host of the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup which was the first FIFA event hosted by the country.