Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi (Kaloor International Stadium)
|Clubs||Chirag United Club Kerala|
|Record attendance||100 000 (India - Iraq, 1997)|
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kochi) – stadium description
Also known as Kaloor International Stadium, this ground was built in 1996 and is among India’s largest and most modern venues. Its unique shape is the outcome of triple-tiered stands (only lowest tier has seating, though), sloping roof structure and massive floodlight masts going through the roof.
When it was designed, football was to be priority. And so it seemed to be. At the beginning, at least. In 1997 an international football tournament saw attendance record set during India’s clash with Iraq, when supposedly some 100,000 people were in attendance, massively exceeding capacity.
And then in 1998 football went aside. Cricket games of India were the most attended ones although club fixtures also happened. It wasn’t until 2011 that football came back for to the spotlight with Chirag United claiming tenancy of the venue. However the club, despite playing in India’s premier league, is nowhere close to filling the ground’s giant stands.
It’s very likely that cricket will soon disappear from this stadium for good as a new cricket venue is under construction not far away. Last fixture for India’s cricket team planned here is the 2013 England tie.
India: Will this be one of the world’s largest leagues?
In its first season it’s already the fourth most attended league in the world (by average home crowd)! And there’s still a lot of room to grow in following seasons.
India: FIFA unsure of U17 World Cup venues
Even the completely redeveloped Nehru Stadium in Delhi failed to meet requirements for football games. Cricket stadiums pose doubts, while the Mumbai supposed venues are both questionable.