Bangalore Football Stadium
|Some or all of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (December 2012)|
|Bangalore Football Stadium|
|Location||Magrath Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India|
|Owner||Bangalore Football Federation|
|Field dimensions||105 × 68 metres|
Construction of the stadium
The construction work of the stadium began in 1967 with the eastern stands being completed in 1970. The plan was to make the stadium a 90,000 capacity edifice with three tiers all around the field. People thought that this stadium was being modeled on the Maracana Stadium in Brazil. Then delays in construction saw the cost to make the stadium rise. This was also mixed with corruption coming from the Bangalore Football Federation and the All India Football Federation which made matters worse.
For construction of the stadium cement and steel were needed. The costs shot up even more though after buying the steel and cement and the state body was left without necessary funds. The state government in Karnataka even ordered an enquiry with the then PAC chairman Ekanthayya heading it. But the result of the enquiry was not made public due to corruption and not paying fees.
Loan proposals were then made to raise funds. The agreement was signed for 10 million to be given to the association for a lease period of 88 years. After that loan, slow progress was then made as the northern stand was made and completed.
Then another delay cost the association dearly as the highest portion of the main stands became weak and after a technical study report, it was demolished as it was unsafe for use.
Another problem then occurred when it was realised that the southern portion was occupied by slum dwellers and they refused to vacate. Despite High Court orders, the area was not vacated as some officials had self-interest in their continuation.
The 1994 Indian National Games came as though as an opportunity to have the slums vacated, but the then AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi made it clear to the state government that unless the slums are cleared, there will no football event. With the High Court orders also in place, the slums were finally cleared.
Opening matches at the stadium
In the beginning only local matches were played in stadium. The 2006 AFC Youth Championship was also partially held at the stadium. Then in 2010 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited S.C. became the first professional club to play at the stadium.
The newly-laid artificial playing surface at the Bangalore football stadium was inaugurated on 18 May 2011. Work on the synthetic pitch, laid at a cost of 45 million under FIFA's Goal project, had begun in November 2010, and was finally completed after several disruptions and deadline extensions owing to unseasonal rains. The cleanup of the stadium has been done where the weeds on the pitch and stands has been cleared and that also the stands have been repainted and revamped along with the locker rooms.
There are plans to refurbish the stadium to meet international standards to host matches for the national team. Also, one of the FIFA Regional Academies (South Zone) is expected to come at this stadium.