A packed cricket calendar has left Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) with less than two months to get its house in order before its first 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match (October 20).
After the IPL, the stadium hosted the Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20. All matches of the Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 were held at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. The tournament, which saw daily double-headers, only ended on August 29.
Given the short turnaround time, work is underway at a quick pace. While some renovation has been completed—the new roofs for a couple of stands, for example—the rest is a work in progress.
“We have a lot of plans to give the entire stadium a big facelift. Because of the packed calendar, we were left with only a month and a half to get everything ready, but our entire staff is working hard to get the job done in a timely manner,” KSCA vice president B.K. Sampath Kumar said.
Sampath is confident that all work will be completed by the end of September.
Capacity: The stadium has a capacity of 34,000. As per the International Cricket Committee (ICC) mandate, 10 per cent will be reserved for sale to the general public.
As is always the case, the majority of the seats will be taken by several other stakeholders: the BCCI, sponsors, KSCA club members, and VIPs. Sampath expects a full house in all matches. “There is already a big demand for tickets, even for the non-India games,” Sampath said.
The hospitality boxes: A comfortable evening out awaits those seated in the four hospitality boxes: P2, Diamond Box, ‘P’ Corporate, and ‘P’ Terrace. Fans, with food and beverages on call, will enjoy the straight view from these boxes. The Diamond Box, next to the dressing room, is generally reserved for special dignitaries. The Diamond Box evokes a sense of nostalgia as portraits of past masters from the state — B.S. Chandrasekhar, Gundappa Viswanath, et al.—adorn the walls.
Practice facilities: In the main stadium, there are five pitches that can be used for net sessions. Apart from this, the adjacent National Cricket Academy ground is also a preferred practice area for international teams.
Pitches: The ICC has identified three pitches that will be used in matches and a fourth on standby. The red-soil pitches at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium produce runs aplenty, which generally makes for exciting viewing.
Sampath stated that things would be no different during the World Cup. He pointed to the recent Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 final, which produced 398 runs in 40 overs, as a testament to the venue being a batter’s paradise.
“There are a couple of pitches that cannot be used due to seat kill (seats that cannot be used due to an obstruction in view). Our capacity is already quite small, so even if we are unable to use 500 seats, it causes huge difficulty,” Sampath said.
Drainage: The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium boasts the best drainage system in the country. The SubAir system can get the ground ready for action a mere 15 minutes after the rain, however heavy, stops.
This came to the fore earlier this year in the IPL when Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans were able to engage in a full match despite a prolonged heavy downpour before the start of the match.
“The ICC delegation that visited the stadium was most impressed with the SubAir system. Even a big puddle disappears in seconds; it works like magic,” Sampath said.
Entry points: The stadium has 21 gates, with the main gate overlooking Cubbon Park used exclusively for players and VIPs. In an effort to make the entry process smooth, new turnstiles will be installed at all gates.
Police personnel and volunteers from the KSCA and the ticketing agency will be tasked with helping fans find their gates.
“The gates for the general public, which see the maximum rush, will be opened three hours before the start of the match. It will ensure there are no stampedes or chaos,” Sampath said.
Security, overseen by police personnel, will be tight, especially for the outings involving Pakistan. “We will be on our toes during the Pakistan matches to avoid untoward incidents. Our city has successfully hosted Pakistan matches before, so this is not a new challenge for us,” Sampath said.
Medical assistance: Doctors and medical personnel trained in first aid will be present at the stadium during all matches. In an emergency, ambulances stationed at the venue will be put into use.
Dressing room: The dressing rooms are set to undergo a major makeover. The flooring will be completely redone, as will the washrooms.
“If you enter a person’s home, it is the washroom that reflects the way he lives his life. It is in this context that the washrooms in the dressing rooms will be built to five-star standards,” Sampath said.
Washrooms: All washrooms across the stadium will get a makeover, Sampath said. The washrooms in the dressing rooms, media box, and hospitality boxes will be built to five-star standards, Sampath said.
Press box: A new lounge for media personnel is being built next to the existing press box.
“We want to showcase the stature of Bengaluru city to the international media,” Sampath said.
Green initiatives: The World Cup will also serve as a chance for international media to witness the stadium’s green initiatives, like the solar panel used for electricity generation, sewage treatment plant, rainwater harvesting system, and plastic bottle shredding and recycling machines.
Areas that need attention: Finding parking spots for cars and two-wheelers on match days is a herculean task. The stadium does not have a dedicated parking area, and parking is banned on all nearby roads.
A few private malls and the Sree Kanteerava Stadium — a 20-minute walk to the stadium — are the only viable options.
The Cubbon Park Metro station, a stone’s throw from the stadium, is the preferred mode of transport for fans. The Metro line is generally open until 1 a.m. on match days to accommodate the exiting spectators looking for a way to get home.
- 2023 ODI World Cup venues: Chinnaswamy Stadium — capacity, pitch info and areas that need attention
- South Korea coach Klinsmann wants fans, media to help build ‘positive spirit’
- Arsenal signs Matildas’ Cooney-Cross from Hammarby
- Olympic committee gives Salt Lake City official go-ahead as bidder for future Winter Games
- PSG gives Lee green light to join South Korea Asian Games squad