2023 ODI World Cup venues: Eden Gardens — capacity, ticket sales, pitch info and all you need to know

Home to some of India’s most memorable wins, the mighty Eden Gardens is undergoing a major facelift for the pinnacle tournament.

Published : Sep 04, 2023 12:46 IST , Kolkata - 8 MINS READ

Big-ticket paradise: Matches at Eden Gardens have always been electrifying affairs, with several high-profile matches to be played here this WC. The last WC match here featured Zimbabwe and Kenya, which the former won by 161 runs.
Big-ticket paradise: Matches at Eden Gardens have always been electrifying affairs, with several high-profile matches to be played here this WC. The last WC match here featured Zimbabwe and Kenya, which the former won by 161 runs. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

Big-ticket paradise: Matches at Eden Gardens have always been electrifying affairs, with several high-profile matches to be played here this WC. The last WC match here featured Zimbabwe and Kenya, which the former won by 161 runs. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

These days, Eden Gardens reeks of paint-thinners, wet cement, and sawdust. The iconic cricketing destination in Kolkata is undergoing a massive revamp ahead of the ODI World Cup. Amid the constant hammering and screeching of the drills as repairs are being taken up on a war footing, Sportstar takes a look at how the historic venue, which will host some big-ticket fixtures like the second semi-final, is shaping up.

As per the International Cricket Council’s rule, the stadium needs to be handed over to the tournament organising committee on September 15.

If you are planning to watch a game at Eden Gardens, here’s all you need to know:

Capacity: The stadium has a capacity of 65,500. Of these, 63,252 seats are for spectators, while the rest are within the hospitality box. Only 32,000 tickets are available for fans via BookMyShow. The remaining tickets are complimentary passes distributed among clubs, affiliated units, agencies, sponsors, life members, and former India internationals. Each of the 121 clubs — 37 first-division, 57 second division, 8 university, 18 district associations and 1 office club — affiliated with the state association is entitled to a quota of tickets for any international fixture.

“The clubs get their quota of tickets directly from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), whereas the general public needs to book tickets through the BookMyShow app and then collect physical tickets from the box office,” says CAB president, Snehasish Ganguly.

The association intends to collaborate with BookMyShow and establish 10-15 box office counters in various parts of the city and near the stadium to facilitate the collection of physical tickets.

Hospitality boxes: There are 32 corporate hospitality boxes at the stadium, with 16 reserved for the state association and the rest for BCCI and ICC. Each corporate box can fit 25 people and has three dining areas and four restrooms. “Some of these boxes have been acquired by a few corporate groups on a 10-year contract with the CAB,” says a state association official.

Additionally, there are six 16-seater boxes in the clubhouse for guests and dignitaries, each with two dining areas and two restrooms.

Practice facilities: Teams will use the Jadavpur University ground in Salt Lake, which is affiliated with the BCCI and has hosted several domestic fixtures, as a practice facility. In case of rain, they can train at the Pankaj Gupta Indoor facility in Eden Gardens.

“Usually, teams prefer training at the main ground, which has all the facilities. But in case any team plans to train at the Jadavpur University ground, we have ensured that they get top-quality facilities there as well,” Ganguly says.

Pitches: Four out of the nine wickets made of black cotton soil will be used in the World Cup. Despite the likelihood of the dew factor in October and November, the CAB curator, Sujan Mukherjee, is confident of producing a sporting wicket during that period.

Eden Gardens.
Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

“It’s not like only batters will dominate. We are trying to produce wickets that will help bowlers as well. On these surfaces, even bowlers can get some purchase if they put in the effort,” says Mukherjee, who has been looking after the Eden surface for years.

The last ODI hosted by Eden Gardens this January resulted in a low-scoring affair, with India winning by four wickets against Sri Lanka. Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj claimed three wickets each.

“For the World Cup, the idea is to prepare a sporting track so that games are not one-sided,” Mukherjee adds.

Drainage and outfield: Before IPL 2023, the entire outfield was coated with sand to improve drainage at Eden Gardens, one of the few venues in India where the entire ground is covered during rains.

“Even if it rains, we can resume a game in quick time. No overs will be curtailed since the outfield dries up quickly,” Ganguly says.

During World Cup match days, 90 groundsmen will be deputed to prepare the ground.

Entry points: There are 17 gates and 84 turnstiles at the venue. Gate No. 1 is reserved for players and match officials, while the Club House gate is for spectators with access to hospitality boxes. The remaining gates are for general admission.

The stadium is situated in the heart of the city and has excellent public transportation connections. The Esplanade Metro station is just a stone’s throw away, and spectators can easily reach the ground by bus or ferry, as Chandpal Ghat (Babughat) is nearby. For those coming from Howrah, the stadium is only a 20-minute ferry ride away, with a general ticket costing Rs 10. On match days, the metro service is expected to run until late hours.

On match days, traffic will be diverted for security reasons. Spectators arriving by bus may need to walk about a kilometre from the Esplanade to the ground. CAB officials state that there are eight to nine spacious parking areas in and around the Maidan where spectators can park their vehicles. “We issue VIP car parking stickers ahead of every game to make sure those coming to watch a game don’t face any issues while parking their cars,” a CAB official says.

Accessibility and challenges: It’s a long walk from the entrance to the stands. Fans may struggle to find their way to the correct blocks and zones.

However, CAB has found a solution by partnering with BookMyShow to appoint volunteers who will assist spectators in locating their respective seat zones. Additionally, indicators will be placed in various areas for easy navigation.

The association has allocated Block B for people with disabilities and will install temporary ramps for wheelchair access. “When fans book their tickets online, they need to inform us whether they would require assistance. Accordingly, we will depute our volunteers to guide them,” says Ganguly. However, the spectators need to carry their wheelchairs.

At Eden Gardens.
At Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

At Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

In case of emergency: Round-the-clock ambulance service is available on the stadium premises. Medical kiosks will be set up prior to the tournament. The CAB has partnered with Woodlands Hospital to provide on-site medical services. “We will set up under-gallery medical rooms in the blocks where doctors will be available around the block. There will be at least four to five super-specialty ambulances,” the CAB president says.

Dressing rooms: There are separate dressing rooms for the home and away teams, each with a sauna, steam room, three lavatories, and a shower arena.

A lounge for players and coaches is located on the ground floor, and a state-of-the-art gym is available at the Pankaj Gupta Indoor facility.

Washrooms: In the stands, there are 51 washrooms: 10 for men and eight for women in the upper-tier of the B, C, K, and L blocks, and 18 for men and 15 for women under the gallery. Additionally, corporate boxes and the Club House have separate washrooms on each floor, with three to four lavatories in each. Although CAB officials claimed that there are separate toilets for differently-abled individuals, Sportstar did not find any such facilities. However, officials claimed that Block B, reserved for differently-abled spectators, will have several special toilets.

Water: There are 20 water stations and 155 water points across the venue for spectators to access free water. The BCCI will also partner with the tournament’s official pouring partner to provide drinking water.

Sustainibility: Eden Gardens is located in the Maidan area, which falls under the Indian Army’s jurisdiction. As a result, the stadium’s lease must be extended every 15 years, making it difficult to make structural changes. While solar panels are not available, the stadium intends to be environmentally friendly by implementing waste management and sorting dry and wet waste into separate zones during tournaments.

Eden Gardens.
Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

Eden Gardens. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

Floodlights: The CAB has installed BVP680 with a DMX controller to replace the old floodlights. The four LED floodlights ensure that the lights will be back instantly in case of any issues.

What’s new: The CAB plans to do landscaping on the walls with plants and paintings while repairs are ongoing in the concourse area. On match days, light and sound shows will take place during intervals. Additionally, laser shows will be projected onto the main gate, where pictures of legends from Bengal will be displayed along with live scoreboards. The media centre and press box have been refurbished to accommodate 150 people. Separate boxes are available for the television commentary panel in English and Hindi, as well as a specialised zone for All India Radio.

“The stadium’s main electronic scoreboard will have a new look, while a second electronic scoreboard will also be installed,” says Ganguly.

Areas that need attention

# The Joginder Singh, Dhan Singh Thapa, Pankaj Roy, and BN Dutt Stands lack roofs, leaving spectators exposed to sunlight and cold winds from the Ganges during day-night games in October and November.

# Although the renovated press box is equipped with modern facilities, accessing the fifth floor without the elevator on match days will be challenging. Also, there are no toilets on the floor, with the closest ones being located on the fourth floor in the media centre.

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