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Reason for three empty stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

Sai Krishna
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
342   //    Timeless

The empty stands G, H and I of Chepauk Stadium, Chennai
The empty stands I, J and K of Chepauk Stadium, Chennai

History

MA Chidambaram stadium is located in Chennai and it is also known as Chepauk stadium. Established in 1916, the stadium has hosted plenty of Tests, ODIs, T20Is and also IPL matches involving the local IPL side, Chennai Super Kings and the final as well. The stadium which is controlled by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association is also the oldest cricket stadium in the country that is currently used on a consistent basis. It has a capacity of 50,000 seats but only 38,000 seats are being used.

What is the issue?

Everyone might have observed that three stands are always empty in this stadium. The three stands have a maximum capacity of 12,000 and each of the three stands, I, J and K have a capacity of 4,000 seats apiece. These three stands have not been used since November 2011. Have you ever wondered why that is the case?

Reason for the three empty stands

The three stands in Chepauk have been under legal issues since their construction. The High Court in Madras put a stay on the use of those stands as TNCA altered with the assessment report for those stands. In fact, a criminal case was also issued against TNCA by the High Court in 2013.

The main reason for the tussle is the gymnasium of the Madras Cricket Club (MCC) adjoining the stands. In 2015, the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of parts of the stands and asked the TNCA to send out the plan to the Chennai Municipal Corporation. Though the TNCA agreed, they are yet to get the necessary permission from the state’s Heritage Committee to start the process.

This is why you will always see those stands empty during all the games that take place in the stadium.

Solution

There can be only one solution and that is to demolish the illegally constructed stands and make good use of that area so that it doesn't look empty.

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Sai Krishna
CONTRIBUTOR
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