12 Huge Facts about the Motera Stadium

If we disregard the official capacity of an enormous stadium in North Korea, then this huge stadium in India is the largest in the world.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the most interesting facts about the Motera Stadium, a stadium that is currently known as the Narendra Modi Stadium.

1. It’s located in the northern part of a city in the west of India

The Narendra Modi Stadium has gone by a couple of different names throughout its history, including the Motera Stadium. That’s a reference to the neighborhood in the northern part of Ahmedabad called Motera in which the stadium is located.

Ahmedabad is the most populous city of the Indian state of Gujarat in the western part of the country. Over 8.2 million people live in its metropolitan area which is the 5th-largest in the country.

The stadium is situated on the western bank of the Sabarmati River, one of the major west-flowing rivers in India and the river that flows through the city.

Ahmedabad sunset
Ahmedabad at sunset / Deepak Mathur / Wiki Commons

2. The original stadium was constructed in the 1980s

The first version of the stadium was built during the 1980s and completed in 1982. It was constructed to replace the old Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium and was initially referred to as the Gujarat Stadium.

This old stadium was completed in 1960 and has a capacity of 50,000 spectators. This stadium is located further south and just north of the historical heart of the city in a neighborhood called Navrangpura.

The stadium was built in just 9 months and had a capacity of 49,000 spectators upon completion.

Sardar Patel Stadium
The old Sardar Patel Stadium / Dhruvdhakan / Wiki Commons

3. The first renovation took place in the early 21st century

All of the international cricket matches that were played in Ahmedabad were hosted in the newly complete Motera Stadium. It wasn’t until the year 200 that the first major renovation of the stadium took place.

The facilities were modernized and new stands were constructed, a project that increased the capacity of the stadium to 54,000 spectators. The renovation also included three new pitches and a new outfield.

This project also introduced covered seats and floodlights, the first time in the stadium’s history that this became available. This renovation was needed for the stadium to be able to host the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006.

Gujarat Stadium
View of the Adani Pavilion after the 2006 renovation / Amidtb994 / Wiki Commons

4. The new stadium is the centerpiece of a huge sports facility

Did you know that one of the largest sports facilities is being constructed in Ahmedabad at the moment?

Upon completion, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave will be one of the largest of its kind in India. It will feature multiple sports stadiums of which the Motera Stadium is the centerpiece.

The main goal is to allow India to host the Summer Olympics one day along with other popular sporting events. The facility will therefore be able to become the venue of multiple different sports.

The complex will feature stadiums that can host soccer games, indoor sports, a velodrome for track cycling, and even an aquatic center for swimming events. An Athletes’ Village will make the project complete a bid to bring the 2036 Summer Olympics to Ahmedabad will be submitted.

Ahmedabad Olympic center render
Render of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave / INI Design Studio / Wiki Commons

5. It’s probably the biggest stadium in the world by seating capacity

The renovated stadium was completely demolished in October 2015 to make way for the modern stadium that we can find in the Motera District of Ahmedabad today.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators, which effectively makes it the largest stadium in the world. The official capacity of the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, is 150,000, but it’s assumed this was reduced to 114,000 seats.

The stadium was completed in February 2020 and was renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium. This is the commemorate the Prime Minister of India who was born in the state of Gujarat in 1950.

Motera Stadium facts
A view inside the new stadium / Wiki Commons

More interesting facts about the Narendra Modi Stadium

6. The first version of the stadium was not only referred to as the Motera Cricket Stadium or Gujarat Stadium, but also as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium. This was to commemorate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first deputy Prime Minister of India between 1947 and 1950.

7. The stadium is owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association and it cost $110 million to construct. The first-ever pink ball test match between India and England was held inside the stadium on 24 February 2021.

8. The stadium is also used for other events. Shortly after it was completed it hosted a major event called “Namaste Trump,” an event that featured American President Donald Trump. He met Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi at the stadium after whom it was named.

Namaste Trump Motera Stadium
The American President, First Lady, and Indian Prime Minister at the stadium / Wiki Commons

9. The honor was returned to the American President because he had been welcomed similarly at the packed NRG Stadium in Houston in 2019. That was during an event with a fitting name called “Howdy Modi.”

The NRG Stadium was completed in 2002 and although it “only” has a seating capacity of 72,220 spectators, it was the first stadium in the United States to feature a retractable roof.

Howdy Modi in 2019
The Howdy Modi event at the NRG Stadium in 2019 / Wiki Commons

10. One of the most interesting facts about the Motera Stadium is that it was initially proposed by Narendra Modi himself. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and also the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association which owns the stadium.

11. The stadium was designed and constructed by a company called “Larsen & Toubro” which is headquartered in Mumbai. This is one of the top 5 construction companies in the world and employs over 55,000 people worldwide.

They submitted the cheapest bid at $90 million out of 3 companies that were initially chosen to submit a proposal. The eventual cost of the stadium was higher at $110 million.

12. The entire stadium complex occupies 25.49 hectares (63 acres) of land which is the equivalent of 32 football fields. It features 3 entrances, one of which is directly served with a metro line.

Two unique features of the stadium are the 11 center pitches on the main ground and the fact that it features 4 dressing rooms, allowing back-to-back matches to be played on the same day.

Motera Stadium fun facts
The view from one of the corporate boxes / Wiki Commons