From Perimeter Rope to Gigantic Slopes: The evolution of Indian Football Stadiums

Pulkit Verma  |  Special  |  2 Weeks Ago

The twenty-first century Indian football stadium is a wonder of steel and glass and primary-coloured bucket seats. Unless you’re a steward or a cleaner, its unlikely you’ll ever be able to go inside, but you’ve seen them on the telly, so know they’re probably nice. 


In recent times, football has become accessible to vast swatches of people. This is for everyone, someone yelled! The Indian clubs didn’t go though weeks of painstaking negotiations over stadium naming rights yet only to admit the likes of you. Those plastic seats might look wipe-clean but mustard stains are a bugger to remove. 


If you can afford to access the exclusive VIP area of the Premier League, you could always look further down the football pyramid. You’ll find new stadiums too, but their identikit designs could be mistaken for out-of-town garden centres. Want a pointless Buddha statue for your garden decking? Toddle on down to the keep moat Stadium. Need a fire pit to really make that high-rise balcony pop? Get yourself to the Madejski. 

Indian stadiums might not draw admiring gasps from the design community but they are at least safe. For decades before, Indian football stadiums remained frozen in time, fossil relics of a bygone era where people gathered to puff their bidis



Here’s how the Stadiums’ designed and “tech” evolved in India…


1911: A stand was designed by Archibald Leitch in Kolkata in British India.

1962 onwards: Floodlights

1923: They want toilets too, someone thought!

1930: Someone felt a need to have basic facilities in a stadium, including a roof. 

1939: Dressing rooms came into reality from tents, which were cursed in extreme heat/cold. 

1980: Someone thought, why not giving stadium naming rights, though he failed himself! 


and more developments happened with time like from making architectually brilliant stadiums to state of art facilities, but that's for another time…


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