The Arena (Ahmedabad)
|Full name||EKA Arena by TransStadia|
|Location||Kankaria Lake, Ahmedabad, Gujarat|
|Owner||TransStadia and Government of Gujarat|
|Capacity||10,000 (can be expanded with temporary seats) (outdoor)|
|Opened||7 October 2016|
|Construction cost||US$ 82.15 million|
|Architect||Holmes Miller & DSP Design Associates|
|Gujarat Fortune Giants|
Gujarat State Football Association
Gujarat State Table Tennis Association
Ahmedabad Smash Masters
India national football team (2019-present)
EKA Arena by TransStadia or simply EKA Arena or The Arena, is a multi-purpose stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, located near Kankaria Lake. The stadium was completed in 2016 and officially opened on 7 October 2016. It has a capacity of over 10,000 people in the outdoor stadium and over 4,000 in the indoor arena and a FIFA standard football pitch. It was constructed under a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Government of Gujarat and SE TransStadia for developing a sports culture in India.
EKA Arena is considered to be Asia's biggest and India's first convertible stadium. It is the first stadium in India that can host more than a dozen sports combined with wellness, leisure and other luxurious facilities. The building includes a Sports Academy, Sports Science and Rehab Facility, a banquet, sports club, dining area and retail space. The stadium uses StadiArena technology for converting the stadium into a multi-purpose indoor arena within a span of 6 minutes at the press of a button. It was the only stadium from India nominated for Stadium of the Year award from StadiumDB.com and faced competition from the likes of Mercedes-Benz Stadium (USA), Wanda Metropolitano (Spain), 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg and 22 other world-class sporting arenas.
EKA Arena currently acts as a home ground for Pro Kabaddi club, Gujarat Fortune Giants, and other domestic sites like Gujarat State Football Association and Gujarat State Table Tennis Association. The stadium hosted the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, 2017 Pro Kabaddi and 2017-18 Santosh Trophy alongside various cultural and commercial events.
The stadium was established in the year 2017. This was the dream project of Udit Sheth, Narendra Modi and Government of Gujarat since 2009. After eight years of work, the multi-purpose stadium was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2016. The stadium hosted the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup even before it was inaugurated.
In 2009, Sheth got the idea of using technology from StadiArena U.K. from "stadiologist" and former English footballer Paul Fletcher. Fletcher has spent 40 years in the football business and 20 years as a player. TransStadia realized that there is this prime property at Abad Dairy near Kankaria Lake in the middle of the city which is not utilized except some games are played every week. The company wrote a letter to Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat to seek permission for construction of a multi-purpose stadium with a vision of indulging sports in the culture of Gujarat. The state's budget for sports increased from ₹35 crores to ₹350 crores which increased furthermore with the construction of this stadium. The stadium also helps the government in nurturing the talent of young India and develop new athletes for India to shine on the world sports map. Amount of ₹550 crores were put into the construction of this structure. State government handed over 9.24 acres of land to the company. TransStadia was also committed to not take large profits, unlike other stadiums. The costs will be covered over the span of next 7–9 years.
The stadium is currently named for its developer, TransStadia, although naming rights will be sold at a later date. The company believes, inspiration has always been a pre-requisite for commitment and it was therefore decided to use all elements that would inspire the name. Sports has always been a patriotic subject, hence the colors of the Indian national flag, the tricolor was used in the shield logo very creatively to instill a sense of belonging to everyone.
The stadium and Sports Performance and Rehab Centre were inaugurated on 30 June 2017 by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi with the presence of Gujarat's chief minister, Vijay Rupani and various Indian sports stars like, former badminton player and coach, Pullela Gopichand, Indian shuttler, Srikanth Kidambi, former Indian football captain and commentator, Baichung Bhutia, Paralympian, Deepa Malik, Olympians, Gagan Narang and Sushil Kumar, Indian kabaddi captain, Anup Kumar and Gujarat cricket team captain, Parthiv Patel along with other cricketers from the state like, Irfan Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Jaydev Unadkat.
The assessment and training equipment available at the center is one of the first in the country which consists of a Pro Reaction Timer, a Swift SpeedLight, a Touch Mat/Speed-Mat and more such equipment which might prove helpful in the all-round development of athletes. The prime minister also visited the mobile medical van equipped with specialized doctors to test and guide children across the country, giving them insights into different sports best suited to their skills.
Narendra Modi while addressing the gathering at the stadium said that the country must adopt a culture where sports is appreciated and supported by everyone, starting from the family. Further commending sportspersons of the country, he added: "Khel Mahakumbh" has brought in a change and encouraged a sporting culture in Gujarat. Speaking on the occasion, TransStadia managing director, Udit Sheth thanked Narendra Modi to inaugurate the very project he envisioned with them. They have created a viable sports infrastructure with world-class technology and thus creating diverse and strong revenue models where sports can become an industry.
The seven-floor, 550 crore facility made its debut in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup even before it was inaugurated. It saw India battle it out against South Korea in their first encounter on 7 October 2016.
EKA Arena is a multi-purpose stadium built under public-private partnership (PPP) with the Government of Gujarat. The $82.15 million contract for construction of this stadium was given to Holmes Miller Architects and DSP Design Associates, who have contributed in many such large sports infrastructure development projects both in and outside India.
The stadium addresses a serious problem faced by many stadiums in India, they are generally underutilised and are financially overbearing to the state. TransStadia came up with this self-sustained design of the stadium to overcome this major problem and develop a building in the heart of the city which can support a range of sports and other events at the same time. The developers mentioned that the design is largely inspired by some of the greatest sporting venues like Wembley Stadium in the U.K., Tokyo Dome in Japan and Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.
The stadium has a sprawling 1.3 million sq. feet of sports and entertainment area built with an idea to maximize profit through multi-dimensional usage. The south stand of The Arena is where the real architecture comes in handy. The company obtained the license for a patented "T-Box" from StadiArena U.K. which converts a 20,000 capacity outdoor ground to a 4,000 capacity pillarless 47,000 sq. feet multi-purpose indoor venue in 6 minutes at a touch of a button.
The stadium focuses on maximizing fan engagement and multiplying commercial opportunities. The structure is built with highest standards of quality, safety and security; and is Zone 4 earthquake-resistant. It has been granted the green building status due to its sustainable site development, rainwater harvesting, energy efficiency and efficient space management techniques.
The stadium boasts of a state of the art FIFA standard pitch at an elevation of 4.8 meters, with a seating capacity of 20,000 and a natural grass turf, specially made of Bermuda grass for sporting as well as non-sporting events. It consists of two major and four minor access points, the pitch also facilitates the ease of media coverage for live broadcasting by providing 6,100 sq. feet of area and 11,000 sq. feet international standard player facilities with 4 locker rooms, which makes it an ideal venue for large format sporting and cultural events.
The pitch has been designed with an idea to increase stadium utilization capacity from the worldwide average of 2% to 67% per annum. This technology combined with the world-class facilities has attracted the attention of various sporting venues across the globe. Paul Fletcher, C.E.O., StadiArena has also shown his interest in adopting this technology in the UK, to provide clubs with a true community building, every aspect of which is used.
The indoor arena lies in the south stand of the stadium and houses the best of technology to convert a 20,000 capacity ground into 4,000 capacity indoor venue for sporting events, expositions, musical events, plays, etc. It uses patented stand convertibility technology from StadiArena UK which makes it the largest convertible convention centre in Asia. It also provides a unique mobile spectator experience using a smart alternative to the conventional brick and mortar modular grandstand spectator seating through T-Box technology that enables sporting events to be constructed, retracted, transformed, removed, downsized and made to disappear within a matter of days. It is a modular, multi-purpose and flexible technique which is helpful in providing efficient space utilization.
The indoor arena consists of a 9,515 sq. ft. sports hall, a tennis court, 4 wooden muti purpose courts, 5 regulation size world-class centrefold table, 3 international standard squash courts. The indoor arena is mostly used for sports like table tennis, boxing, badminton, basketball, volleyball, squash, karate, skating, swimming, kabaddi, futsal, box cricket or etc. It hosted 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and acts as the home ground for Pro Kabaddi team, Gujarat Fortune Giants.
This project has been constructed keeping in mind an all green building standards of power saving, smart water and power utilization, fire safety and other such factors. It also puts great emphasis on sustainable development with various water conservation methods like rainwater harvesting, mist firefighting and zero wastewater discharge from two different plants: water treatment plant and state of the art sewage plant. It guarantees to decrease the load on water resources by reusing and recycling 100 percent of used or already treated water. It also has 44 km of electric cabling and 14 km of Wi-Fi cabling. It also has almost 19,000 sq. meters of landscaped areas and including gardens and an infinity swimming pool looking across the field of play. The structure of stadium has been designed for upgraded seismic zone 4 of highest resistance for safety at the time of an earthquake.
The stadium also includes amenities like provision for parking of approximately 900 cars or 1,200 two-wheelers in a two-level basement, 450 toilets for men, women and the differently-abled, and 28 elevators.
StadiArena is an air-conditioned pillar less multipurpose indoor arena with over 32,000 sq. feet area. The stadium is also equipped with the T-Box facility which provides retractable seating system which enables 5,000 seats to convert from the outdoor arena to indoor arena. It is equipped with world's only turf protection system which gets manufactured from truly translucent HDPE material, it allows for continues photosynthesis while at the same time ensures the optimal turf health, together with a 30 years UV degradation guarantee. It is also equipped with EKA club which provides with a bunch of different facilities like hospitality suits, terrace gardens, children's play area, cafeteria and restaurant, banquet, lobby and kiosks, card room and retail parking. Other amenities at the EKA club include an infinity swimming pool, a fitness studio and a Body Transformation Center (BTC).
The stadium has been prepared in a manner that it can host 14 sports, like, football, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, table tennis, squash, boxing and many more. The developers consciously sidestepped cricket to focus more on the development of other sports in the country.
2016 Kabaddi World Cup
Hosting the World Cup was a watershed moment for India and the state because Gujarat has never hosted a world event before. The Arena was very quick to learn from Star India the international best practices for hosting such world events in terms of hospitality, fan management, player management, broadcast and more. Hosting the world cup at The Arena was a stimulating and learning experience for a relatively new stadium which is trying to make a mark in the sports world. It proved to be a fantastic event to showcase over 120 countries where the tournament was broadcast live, that what new urban India stands for. The indoor Arena has witnessed one of the greatest moment when the home team lifted the world cup in 2016.
2017 Asian Cup Table Tennis
It is a tournament held by International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU). The ITTF- ATTU 30th Asian Cup Finals were held at The Arena by TransStadia and it threw two new champions, Lin Gaoyuan and Zhu Yuling from China won the men singles and the women singles title respectively.
Pro Kabaddi League
The 2017 season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) was hosted by The Arena which was the fifth season of one of the largest leagues in India. It is a professional kabaddi league in India established in 2014 with only 8 teams organized by Mashal Sports and Star Sports. But, this season included 12 teams and The Arena acted as the home ground for the Gujarat Fortune Giants.
Mission XI Million
The Mission XI Million Football Festival (MXIM) was held at The Arena by TransStadia which marked participation from 6,000 children in the presence of All India Football Federation (AIFF) President, Praful Patel, former Indian football team captain, Baichung Bhutia, Bollywood star, Hrithik Roshan, and TransStadia Founder & MD, Udit Sheth. The Arena by TransStadia is equipped with FIFA standard football pitch which enabled the exhibition game to be played with best amenities.
I-League 2nd Division
The Arena by TransStadia hosted four preliminarily round Group A matches of plain-Jane I-League 2nd Division on 16, 21, 25 January, and 5 March 2019.
2019 Intercontinental Cup is going to be the first international tournament held at the Arena, to be contested between India, Tajikistan, Syria, and North Korea. On the first day of this tournament India lost 2-4 to Tajikistan but Sunil scored the brace.
2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
State of the art infrastructure combined with the best of technologies, and location right in the most heart of Ahmedabad, makes The Arena one of the best venues to host a range of events from musical concerts to expositions and other such events. For the very purpose, TransStadia has created another company named White River Entertainment for controlling and managing such large-scale events.
A. R. Rahman: Encore
A. R. Rahman, one of the most famous and iconic singers of India performed at the Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on 3 December 2017. His concert, Encore Tour 2017, was attended by over 15,000 people from across Gujarat and of all age groups. The Arena has all the facilities of the sound system as well as the lightings to host a large-scale concert like this.
Gujarat Iconic Film Awards (GIFA)
The stadium was chosen as the venue for the biggest film awards in Gujarati cinema, the Gujarat Iconic Film Awards, popularly known as GIFA on 6 January 2018.
The Arena hosted the 96th stage performance of the Mughal-e-Azam play. It took place at the Arena from 8 to 11 March 2018. The event was organized and performed at The Arena itself and recorded a relatively good turnover.
The stadium currently has a basement parking space which holds a parking capacity of up to 900 cars. It also has a height of 6.80 meters to accommodate Volvo buses for events and media to enter and park. The public transport services which currently connects to the stadium are, Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), these buses cover almost the whole Ahmedabad city and provide a good connectivity to this location. Although there are no means to reach the stadium directly, one can reach the stadium from Kankaria Lake AMTS station or Raipur Darwaja BRTS station which are approximately at 400 meters and 850 meters distance respectively.
- Gujarat Fortune Giants
- Gujarat State Football Association
- ARA F.C.
- List of football stadiums in India
- "TransStadia Pitch". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- C, Aprameya. "The TransStadia story: How Narendra Modi turned Udit Sheth's dream into reality". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "TransStadia, the Rs 550 crore sports complex that may put Gujarat on the global sporting map - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "PHILOSOPHY - SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology". SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Narendra Modi Gujarat visit: PM inaugurates Asia's biggest multi-purpose stadium TransStadia Arena; take a look". The Financial Express. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "'The Arena' by TransStadia inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi". The Indian Express. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Kabaddi World Cup 2016, India vs South Korea Highlights: South Korea stun India in opener LIVE News, Latest Updates, Live blog, Highlights and Live coverage - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Pathak, Maulik (10 October 2016). "Arena by TransStadia: A sneak peek into India's first convertible stadium". Mint. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Sports Science Brochure - Transstadia Sports Performance Enhancement". Transstadia Sports Performance Enhancement. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "TransStadia Indoor Sports Hall". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "TransStadia Badminton". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "TransStadia Tennis". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "TransStadia Table-tennis". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "TransStadia Squash". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "TransStadia Academies". transstadia.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "INDOOR ARENA - CONVENTION CENTER - SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology". SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "StadiumDB.com – Database of Football Stadiums". stadiumdb.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Indian football's Mission XI Million Football Festival launched in Ahmedabad". Sportstarlive. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "A. R. Rahman Encore, The Arena by Transstadia, Ahmedabad, 3 Dec 2017 | PartyOwl.in". PartyOwl.in. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical makes its way to Ahmedabad". www.meranews.in. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "PITCH - SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology". SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd, Sports & Entertainment, TBOX, Stadiarena, TransStadia Academies, TransStadia Sports Science, Mobile Arena, World Class Technology. Retrieved 16 April 2018.