Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)

Capacity66 000
Country India
CityKolkata
ClubsEast Bengal FC, Mohun Bagan AC, Prayag United SC, Pailan Arrows
Inauguration 01.1984
Renovations 2011, 2014
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

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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.

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