President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday inaugurated the world's largest cricket stadium - Narendra Modi Stadium, renamed after the country's Prime Minister at Motera in Gujarat's Ahmedabad.
Spread over 63 acres, the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera can accommodate an awe-inspiring 1.32 lakh spectators. According to the reports, the stadium has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore and with a seating capacity of 1,32,000 spectators.
Earlier today, President Kovind and his wife performed 'bhumi pujan' of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in Ahmedabad's Motera.
The President inaugurated the stadium in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju among a host of other dignitaries.
"We have decided to name it after the country's Prime Minister. It was Modi ji's dream project," said Shah after the inauguration.
The President also performed the ground-breaking ceremony for a sports complex in the stadium, to be named Sardar Patel sports complex, for disciplines like football, hockey, basketball, kabbadi, boxing, and lawn tennis among others.
"The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together," stated a note from the Press Information Bureau giving specifics of the enormous structure.
Spread over 63 acres, the stadium has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore
Spread over 63 acres, the stadium has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore and with a seating capacity for 1,32,000 spectators, it has surpassed the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000.
Players from both the India and England teams, who have been training here for the past few days, have expressed their admiration for what they have experienced at the arena.
It has a cricket academy, indoor practice pitches, and two separate practice grounds with small pavilion area.
This is the only cricket stadium in the world to have four dressing rooms for the players so that back-to-back games can be played on the same day.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju expressed his gratitude. "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," the union minister noted.