Kaloor Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Will Host Not Just Sports But Also Artistic Events

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Kochi

The GCDA is set to transform the Kaloor Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium into a versatile venue, extending its usage beyond football to include dance, singing, and public gatherings. To facilitate non-sports events, the stadium’s grass field will be protected using turf tiles, emulating the model seen in foreign stadiums.

With the implementation of the Rs 8 crore project outlined in the GCDA budget, the stadium aims to host significant music events, generating additional revenue for the organization. GCDA anticipates that this decision will not only contribute to the city’s cultural scene but also enhance the overall cultural programs it offers. However, concerns have been raised by sports enthusiasts fearing potential damage to the ground once it is opened for public events.

Historically, Kaloor Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium hosted international cricket matches, transitioning to a football stadium and serving as the home ground for the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. Despite its use during the ISL season, the stadium remains largely idle for the remainder of the year, prompting the GCDA’s initiative.

The primary goal is to open the stadium for non-sports events during the off-season, as stated by GCDA Chairman K. Chandranpillai. To address concerns about turf maintenance, the GCDA plans to monitor grass growth closely, even when covered with turf protection tiles. Unlike abroad, where specialized teams led by agricultural engineers oversee grass field maintenance, currently, Kerala Blasters manage the stadium’s year-round upkeep.

Transparent turf protection tiles made of high-density polyethylene will be used to prepare the stadium for non-sports events. These tiles, widely utilized in foreign stadiums for protecting grass fields during music events, allow sunlight penetration, promoting grass growth. According to the GCDA, the turf will not be damaged, and the grass will flourish under the tiles.

These polyethylene tiles have a successful track record, with the first prototype tested at Wembley Stadium in London in 1990. They have since been employed in stadiums worldwide for various non-sports events, including venues such as Old Trafford and Wembley in the UK, the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, and stadiums hosting World Cup football matches in Japan. The tiles, treated to resist ultraviolet rays, boast a lifespan of up to 30 years, providing flexibility for removal and reuse as needed.

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