Touted as the world’s largest cricket stadium in terms of seating capacity, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium (also known as Motera stadium) is being readied to host US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With finishing touches being given, the Motera stadium, which will have a maximum seating capacity of 110,000, will see Trump and Modi address a public event. It will be on the lines of ‘Howdy Modi’ that was held in Houston in 2019.
The trio of principal architect Populous, project management consultant STUP Consultants and developer L&T, which was roped in by Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) to redevelop the stadium, is burning the midnight oil to ready it for the event. Developed at a cost of roughly Rs 800 crore, the stadium will pip the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which can seat 100,024, as the world’s largest cricket stadium.
Run by GCA, the Motera stadium will house a main cricket ground along with two smaller cricket grounds, four locker rooms, 75 air-conditioned corporate boxes and a club house for GCA members. Against a single entry point earlier, the redeveloped stadium will now have three entry points.
It will feature 55 rooms in the club house with indoor and outdoor sports, apart from restaurants, Olympic size swimming pool, gymnasium and party area, among other things. The massive stadium will also house a cricket academy and indoor practice pitches. In future, one of the main entry points will be supplemented by a metro rail station that is under construction currently.
For the public event on February 24, the state government and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have been working on getting 110,000 participants to fill the stadium, apart from others filling up the roadside on the airport-stadium route.
According to state government officials, students, working professionals and businessmen alike are expected to participate in the Trump-Modi event, along with several non-resident Gujaratis (NRGs).
While no official word is out yet, the event is being touted as ‘Kem Chho Trump’ (how are you Trump?) on the lines of ‘Howdy Modi’. Ahead of the event, around 16 road stretches in and around the Motera area of Ahmedabad are either being resurfaced or widened with trees being planted on the divider in front of the stadium.
State government officials said Trump and Modi are likely to spend about half an hour at Sabarmati Ashram, followed by the two-hour public event at Motera stadium. Similar to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to Ahmedabad, both the routes from airport to the ashram and stadium will showcase cultural events at key junctions during Trump’s visit.
Meanwhile, AMC is also working on redirecting traffic on February 24, apart from making parking plots available to participants. Security measures are also being taken by the state government, which will vet credentials of the participants.