Stadiums in India
Salt Lake Stadium information

Salt Lake Stadium

Salt Lake Stadium, officially known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), is a multipurpose stadium in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, with a current capacity of 85,000. It is the largest stadium in India by seating capacity. Before its renovation in 2011, it was the second largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000. Prior to the construction and opening of Rungrado May Day Stadium in 1989, it was the largest football stadium in the world. The stadium hosted the final match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, alongside hosting other matches of the tournament. As part of security measures for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the stadium was only open for 66,687 viewers instead of the stadium’s capacity of 85,000. The stadium's record attendance was recorded in 1997 when 131,781 spectators watched the Federation Cup Semifinal between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The stadium recently switched back to natural grass from artificial turf as part of the preparations for hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017. The new turf was unveiled in a Kolkata Derby match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during the 2015–16 Calcutta Premier Division match. The stadium was established in 1984 because the club grounds in the Maidan area, each with capacity around 20,000, were proving too small for the huge crowd that occupied the grounds on matchdays. And while the Eden Gardens was there to handle some of the bigger games, like the Kolkata Derby, the pressure of handling both cricket and football was proving to be a bit too much for the stadium. The stadium is situated approximately 10 kilometres to the east of the Kolkata downtown. The roof is made of metal tubes and aluminum sheets and concrete. The stadium was inaugurated in January 1984. There are two electronic scoreboards and control rooms. There is illumination at night . There are special arrangements for TV broadcasting. The gigantic stadium features three tiers of concrete galleries. The stadium has 9 entry gates and 30 ramps for the spectators to reach the viewing blocks. The nine gates include the VIP gate. The gates 1 and 2 are on kadapara road, gate no.3, 3A, 4, 4A and 4B are on the side of Broadway; gate no 5 and the VIP gate are on the side of EM By pass. The ramps are inside the stadium and link the inner ring road to the different levels of the stadium complex. The stadium covers an area of 76.40 acres (309,200 m2). The stadium has a unique[citation needed] synthetic track for athletic meets. It has a main football arena measuring 105 by 70 metres (344 ft × 230 ft). It also houses electronics scoreboards, elevators, VIP enclosures, peripheral floodlighting arrangement from the roof-top, air-conditioned VIP rest room, conference hall and much more. The stadium has its own water arrangements and standby diesel generation sets. The ₹1 billion (US$14 million) renovation project started in February 2015. The artificial turf at the stadium has been replaced by an all-natural grass pitch. The new grass is from Reivera Bermuda seeds procured from the USA and below it there are two layers of sand and gravel. The next layer is fitted with perforated pipes so that water-logging won’t be an issue. German company Porplastic provided the elastic coating for the running track around the pitch which was replaced for the first time since the stadium was built in 1984. The old track has been scooped out and the new surface was laid. The lobby of the VIP entrance that leads to the player's arena, was air-conditioned. The broadcast rooms and stadium offices were renovated. Bucket seats replaced the concrete benches in the galleries, which brought down the stadium's capacity from 120,000 to 85,000. The VIP and press boxes, both in the middle tier, were pulled down and a new press box with a capacity of 240 seats is now on the third tier. The VIP box remained on the second tier, with an added 240 seats. The press conference room that used to be cramped during derbies and matches featuring international teams has been shifted to a 19 x 8.5-metre space under a gallery. A spacious broadcast room of similar dimensions has been built as well. Two full-sized practice grounds with perforations on the surface for underground drainage and eight floodlight towers have come up at the Hyatt end of the stadium, as recommended by FIFA. The same imported Reveria Bermuda grass used on the main turf will cover the practice grounds. The drainage network has been designed to ensure that the surface never becomes slushy. The referees rooms have been built alongside the practice grounds. The number of gates to the stadium has been increased from seven to nine. Some of the existing gates has been widened too, as are the approaches that connect the entrances and exits to the ring road. Each link road is 21 meters wide. The surroundings has been beautified by the forest department. To the left of the lobby, rooms have been constructed for referees and ball boys. The stadium is located in the satellite township of Salt Lake and it also lies on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass which makes it easily accessible by road. There are numerous buses which ply around the city to the stadium. The Line 2 of the metro will be passing near the stadium, therefore the stadium will have its own station which is expected to open by Oct 2018. The stadium is approx 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) away from N.S.C.Bose International Airport.

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