Fans trickle in, many avoid bird’s eye view at stadium


The new and grand stadium built in Motera excited some fans but did not excite some others. When the first ball of the third Test between India and England was bowled, there were a handful of fans at the 1,10,000-capacity stadium that has been open to 55,000 fans for this match.

A few more fans came as the day progressed on a week-day afternoon.

Of those that came, the lower tier with bright orange seats was the preferred choice because of the visibility.

The stadium that looks imposing and huge has two tiers and five floors with a foyer for passage, dividing the two tiers after the second floor. The fourth and fifth floors of the main pavilion is earmarked for 76 corporate boxes. Some problem of visibility arises in the upper tier that has third, fourth and fifth floors, especially the two top floors, as the distance to the pitch from that height appears too much.

Those in the corporate box won’t face a problem since they have screens but for an average fan who will sit in stands other than main pavilion, he will have to rely on screens on the stands to watch the proceedings.

“We have opted for lower tier tickets because we wanted to have a clearer view. We weren’t sure if the view would be very clear from the top,” said a fan from Ahmedabad who had come with a group of friends. He was attending a match in Motera after a few years and had attended an Indian Premier League game previously.

However, time will only tell if the height has been good or not.

In many stadia in India there remain issues with fans getting a clear view, either because of pillars or something else, but this being a modern stadium a more horizontal approach instead of the vertical would have helped like at the Ekana International stadium in Lucknow which was built by a private body in 2017.

“We have multiple tiers but they are all well connected and can be differentiated only by the difference in colour of the seats. It looks one tier because it is connected to each other. We avoided a vertical approach because of the view of the fans,” Gauraw Singh, the head of operations at Ekana cricket stadium, told IANS.

But the Ekana stadium has a limited capacity — 50,000, which is not even half of the Motera stadium. That has allowed it to avoid the vertical approach.

A capacity of 1,10,000, if built with horizontal approach, would have taken a lot more space.

However, a clearer picture and how fans feel will emerge only when the stadium will get packed and seats even in the top rows of the upper tier will be in demand, either in next month’s T20 series against England or in the IPL games next year.