India’s first world-class convertible stadium is set to host the second edition of the annual tournament.

On Sunday, 7th July,  Ahmedabad will welcome the Tajikistan national team to play at India’s first convertible world-class sports stadium, the EKA Arena by TransStadia. “The Arena,” as it has come to be known, will host the 2019 edition of the Intercontinental Cup. We at Khel Now take you through all you need to know about the newly-built facility.

The stadium has played host to a variety of sporting events, as it can be converted from an outdoor stadium to an indoor one in under six minutes, making it India’s first convertible stadium.

Inside View: EKA Arena by TransStadia

Udit Sheth, the chief of TransStadia described it as more of an experience than a stadium and it could not have been put more aptly. With a seating capacity of 20,000, it may not be the largest in the country, but it more than makes up for it in terms of ambience.

The 550 crore project was started in 2014 and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, as part of his “Make in India” campaign in 2017. Fast forward to 2019, the stadium hosted its first international football match as Chennaiyin FC took on Colombo FC in the AFC Cup.

The stadium has derived the best of technology from all over the world and brought a state-of-the art sporting arena to India. The technology for stand convertibility was inspired by Stadi-Arena UK and seat retractability by T-Box. The stadium also employs a turf protection system made from translucent HDPE materials, that allow for continuous photosynthesis, leading to better turf health.

Sheth, who is fiercely proud of the stadium told Khel Now in an interview in 2017, ”I could have a Navaratri program, an I-League game involving a Gujarati side and a Kolkata side and a YouTube live program all at the same time. That is what sets TransStadia apart.”

Sheth also expressed his desire for an ISL or I-League team from Gujarat to use the EKA as their home ground. With a host of different facilities, The Arena has without doubt quickly become one of India’s best sporting facilities.

However, the EKA Arena stands for so much more. Through the Intercontinental Cup and other such tournaments, the venue could be India’s first step to becoming one of the world’s major football destinations. It could inspire grassroots football in the state and prove to be just the catalyst that the country has needed to take the next step in the international game.