2023 ODI World Cup venues: Narendra Modi Stadium — capacity, ticket sales, pitch info and all you need to know

If you are planning to watch a World Cup in Ahmedabad, here’s all you need to know.

Published : Sep 02, 2023 13:50 IST , Ahmedabad - 8 MINS READ

Ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup, the Narendra Modi Stadium is preparing to host high-profile games, including India vs Pakistan. Despite previously hosting IPL finals and bilateral fixtures, hosting an ICC event presents a different challenge.

The stadium has state-of-the-art facilities, modern dressing rooms, and plush hospitality areas. The Gujarat Cricket Association officials are working to address recommendations made by the ICC and the BCCI before handing over the venue to the tournament organizing committee on September 15. Although the stadium faced concerns over a wet outfield during the IPL final, the groundsmen have worked hard to ensure everything is in perfect shape for the upcoming World Cup.

GCA secretary Anil Patel
GCA secretary Anil Patel | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

GCA secretary Anil Patel | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

GCA secretary Anil Patel says, “The association is working on every aspect to ensure things are in perfect shape…”

When Sportstar visited the venue in the second week of August, the square looked ready, with the groundsmen giving some ‘finishing touches’.

If you are planning to watch a game at the Narendra Modi Stadium during the World Cup, here’s all you need to know…

Capacity: On paper, the stadium has a capacity of 1,32,000. But to accommodate sight-screens on both ends and extend the dressing room arena while keeping the international protocols in mind, some seats remain out of bounds.

According to GCA officials, around 1,20,000 tickets are kept for fans and guests, with about 10–15 per cent earmarked for the BCCI, the ICC, and its affiliates. Nearly 1,00,000 tickets go on sale through the online platforms or over the counter. Several kiosks will be set up in the stadium premises leading up to the tournament where spectators can collect physical tickets.

The hospitality boxes: While fans can enjoy the proceedings from the stands, there is a seating capacity of 25 each in the 76 corporate boxes, which are usually reserved for guests and dignitaries.

On the third floor, there is a luxurious president’s box, which is exclusively reserved for the guests of the BCCI, GCA, and ICC. It allows the spectators to watch the game from the centre wicket, and the state association promises top-notch hospitality. There are about 10–12 washrooms on the floor, with facilities for men, women, and the specially abled.

On the walls of the corporate box, there are pictures of Prime Minister Narednra Modi, who was earlier the president of the GCA; union home minister Amit Shah; and the current secretary, Jay Shah. There are also pictures featuring former BCCI chief and former India captain Sourav Ganguly and a few other cricketers.

Practice facilities: Apart from the regular practice arena, there are two grounds inside the premises, which will be used by teams for training purposes. Both the grounds have hosted domestic fixtures, and even during the IPL, the teams had their practice sessions here.

Pitch work at Narendra Modi Stadium.
Pitch work at Narendra Modi Stadium. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Pitch work at Narendra Modi Stadium. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Pitches: It’s a sand-based wicket. There are 11 strips; five are made of local black soil, while the other five are a combination of Mumbai red soil, Murrum yellow soil, and local black soil. The other one is made of 75 per cent Mumbai red soil and 25 per cent of Odisha black soil.

Since the tournament will be held in October and November, dew could be a factor, but the groundsmen are well equipped to counter the dew with moisture balancing and using anti-dew sprays on the outfield.

During the IPL, the venue had batting-friendly surfaces, and the ground staff indicated that it’s going to be a similar situation in the World Cup as well. While the surface could favour the batters, with a bit of aid to the seamers, the projected score could hover around 280 and 290.

Drainage and outfield: The stadium has a sand-based outfield with a sub-soil drainage system. According to GCA secretary Anil Patel, “the pre-season renovation has been done soon after the IPL, and the groundsmen are working on the last leg before formally handing over the ground to the organising committee.

Entry points: There are four gates. While Gates No. 1 and 2 are for the general public, there are several walkways leading to the blocks. Even though Gate No. 1 is located on the main road, traffic is usually diverted on match days to ensure smooth entry to the stadium. However, the road approaching Gate No. 2, which is located next to the GCA Club House, is slightly narrow and may lead to congestion.

The Motera metro station is about 200 metres from Gate 2 and is within walking distance. But during the IPL final, with a packed crowd, entry into the stadium was chaotic from both the gates, and it took hours for the fans to finally get in.

The GCA, however, hopes that things will be smoother with adequate security and more volunteers deputed to oversee the process. Like every other time, Gate No. 3 will be used for VIP movements and vendors, whereas Gate No. 4 is restricted to players and VIP dignitaries.

As the GCA officials point out, “there are 18 parking zones for two-wheelers and four-wheelers within a radius of 1 km. In case one finds parking at a further corner, the GCA plans to organise a shuttle service that would pick up the spectators and drop them off at the venue.’ Accessibility and challenges: From the entrance to the stands, it is a long walk. And for big-ticket games like India vs. Pakistan, things could get challenging for the fans to find their way to the respective blocks and zones amid tight security.

But GCA seems to have found a way to address the issue. During the IPL, the association introduced a golf cart service for easy accessibility to the stands, and it will continue with that during the World Cup as well. There are special ramps for the differently-abled, and the GCA will tie up with the ticketing partner and appoint volunteers who will guide those spectators to their seats.

According to Patel, volunteers will also be deputed to make sure that the spectators have no problems locating their respective seat zones. Indicators will also be put up in different areas for easy navigation. “Gate 1 and Gate 2 straightaway lead to the ramps, but we will put up a few additional signs for spectators coming from different parts of the world so that they find it easy to reach their respective zones,” Patel says. “In case anyone needs special attention, they need to inform us while booking the tickets, and we will depute special volunteers to take care of them. We did a similar thing during the IPL as well,” he adds.

Even though Gate No. 1 is located on the main road, traffic is usually diverted on match days to ensure smooth entry to the stadium. 
Even though Gate No. 1 is located on the main road, traffic is usually diverted on match days to ensure smooth entry to the stadium.  | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Even though Gate No. 1 is located on the main road, traffic is usually diverted on match days to ensure smooth entry to the stadium.  | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

In case of emergency: There’s round-the-clock ambulance service in the stadium premises. Ahead of the tournament, eight to 10 medical kiosks will be set up across the stadium for spectators. In case any one needs medical attention, there will be a primary health centre at the Sports Complex for basic treatment. “We have a 3-bed semi-hospital for fans and a few beds are kept for the players, support staff and guests…” a GCA official says.

Dressing rooms: There are four dressing rooms, two on each side. The dressing rooms are spacious and feature pictures of India’s 1983 World Cup and 2011 World Cup wins. There is a viewing gallery from which the players and the support staff can follow the proceedings before heading to the dugout.

There are three physio rooms on each side of the dressing rooms, along with two players arena on each side. There is also a spacious lunch room and briefing room for home and away teams. The dressing rooms are well maintained with state-of-the-art facilities, including a gym. However, it’s a long walk from the dugout to the dressing room. Currently, one has to take 98 steps to reach the dressing room, and factoring in the time limit, the GCA plans to reduce the number of steps to make things easy for the players as they walk in or walk out of the ground.

Washrooms: There are 150 washrooms in the stadium, of which 130 are in use for spectators. It has facilities for both men and women, as well as for the differently abled. There are more than 80 lavatories as well. “There is proper signage for the differently-abled, and the facilities are upgraded to ensure that they don’t have any problems,” Patel says.

Construction work going on at the stadium.
Construction work going on at the stadium. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Construction work going on at the stadium. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Water: There’s a centralised Reverse Osmosis (RO) facility in the stadium. The BCCI plans to tie up with the official ‘pouring partner’ of the tournament to provide free drinking water for all the spectators.

Solar panel: The stadium incorporates renewable energy sources, water conservation methods, and waste management systems. So far, only the club house has solar panels, but in the future, the GCA is open to using solar panels in the entire stadium. LED lights are used throughout the premises.

Areas that need attention:

During its inspection recently, the ICC delegation sought an expanded media centre to accommodate media personnel travelling from across the globe. While currently the press box can accommodate about 150–200 people, the GCA is already getting an overflow area ready that can accommodate more people, following the ICC guidelines. According to Patel, efforts are on to ensure ‘uninterrupted wi-fi service’ for media personnel. There will also be a separate broadcasting lounge for the commentators and the television and digital crew.

The GCA also needs to set up more ticket counters to avoid rush hour. Ahead of the IPL final, there were long queues near the main gate for the physical collection of tickets, leading to inconvenience for the spectators.

They had to wait for hours braving extreme weather conditions, and keeping that in mind, the state association plans to set up more ticket kiosks to make things easy for the fans.

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