Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)
|Clubs||East Bengal FC, Mohun Bagan AC, Prayag United SC, Pailan Arrows|
|Record attendance||131,000 (East Bengal - Mohun Bagan, 13.07.1997)|
|Design||M/S. Ballardie, Thompson & Matthews Pvt. Ltd. and M/S. H.K. Sen & Associates|
Description: Yuba Bharati Krirangan
This is most likely the largest football stadium in the world, to our knowledge. Due to capacity restrictions in Pyongyang (North Korea) this mammoth’s 120,000 places (of course vast majority standing) has no math in global football.
Since opening back in early 1984 it didn’t go through any major renovation works, which can be painfully seen both inside and out. It wasn’t until early years of the twenty-first century that the ground was able to meet minimum requirements of FIFA with small portion of seats, a few skyboxes, new giant screens, artificial turf and improved lighting. But this still falls far from the term ‘modern’.
Because of its low standard and no divisions between different sections of the stands, some sections tend to get overcrowded (particularly behind goals). This is the case very often during India’s – and in fact the world’s largest derby – between Kolkata’s East Bengal and Mohun Bagan clubs. Both sides are able to fill the stadium to capacity when fighting one another, but despite quite feverous atmosphere and lack of safety installations, violence doesn’t seem to be a major problem.
In 2008 it was the site of Oliver Kahn farewell, when Bayern faced Mohun Bagan in a friendly. But that’s hardly among important events at a ground that has hosted over a dozen of large international tournaments and numerous concerts.
In 2013 decision was made to reduce capacity heavily from 120,000 to 68,000. This came as an attempt to make it a more comfortable stadium. Bucket seats were installed across parts of the vast stands. Toilets, skyboxes (24), concession stands and toilets were thoroughly renovated, followed by a revamp of all player facilities.
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: It was the largest, now it’s only large
Top games at the Salt Lake Stadium were experienced by well over 120,000 people. Now capacity is halved compared to those days, but comfort went up impressively.
India: World’s largest stadium to lose capacity
Another stadium of over 100,000 capacity after Maracana is awaiting a significant downsize. Now it’s time for Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. After conversion to all-seater it will hold “only” 80,000 people.
India: Over a dozen poisonous snakes ejected from stadium
Indian cobras may be a pride of the nation, but once they enter the playing field, it’s still a pitch invasion. After the game of India’s leading club Mohun Bagan, staff had to throw out over a dozen deadly snakes, as Associated Press reports.
Kolkata: Giant in desperate need of renovation works
Possibly the largest existing stadium in the world is in dire state. Facilities for the 120,000 spectators are below any standards and pitch is causing injuries. One of India's largest clubs appeals to authorities for help, ndtv.com reports.