Thyagaraj Stadium the most sought after venue for major events

July 24th, 2011 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Once the sports ministry has decided against misuse and disuse of the various stadia built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), Thyagaraj Stadium Complex is the most sought after by the national sports federations.

The functional and utility audit of the CWG venues has begun and amid reports of poor upkeep of some of the facilities, Thyagaraj Stadium is living up to its reputation as the country’s first green stadium even eight months after the Games.

The stadium, built at an approximate cost of Rs.300 crores, has hosted three big tournaments in the last couple of weeks. First it was the National basketball championships, then the middle Asian qualifiers for the Asian basketball championship and the Asian junior table tennis championships which ended Sunday.

The Delhi Soccer Association is getting ready to hold its league next month on the soccer field in the complex spread over 16.5 acres, which also has an athletic track, five tennis courts and a state-of-the-art gymnasium.

The venue administrator Sita Ram Sawoo says if the complex gets to hold events on a regular basis the complex will be automatically spic and span.

It is easier to build these facilities, but tough to maintain them when there is no sporting activity, Sawoo, an assistant director in the education department of Delhi government, told IANS.

“It is not only the big indoor stadium, there is a whole lot of open area that you have to take care of,” he says.

The complex is not covered under the come-and-play scheme introduced by the union sports ministry in five of the 12 CWG venues, but the local government has its own plan to put the facilities to optimum use.

The stadium, opened for the first time in January since the Games, has also been hosting several local sporting events. While they charge for conducting tournaments of various sports, the place is open for school children to train free of cost. And as part of the overall objective of sustainable maintenance, the authorities have started entertaining membership for people who are willing to pay for the services. Sixty members have already enrolled and the stadium will be open for them from September onwards.

Otherwise, the hiring charges for the facility is Rs 20,000 for federations, Rs 10,000 for government agencies and Rs 50,000 for corporates and that too, only for organising sports meets. A flat Rs 30,000 will be charged for airconditioning.

“I took charge of this place in January and since then various national and international events have been held here. We have different rates for the mutlipurpose hall. We charge corporates more than any government organisation. Not many know this, we also hired it out for embassies for holding football tournaments,” says Sawoo.

International players and officials are all praise for the facility, though they say some technical aspects around the venue need improvement.

“I have seen many stadiums around the world and this one is certainly among the best. Both the players and spectators have good space. In fact, we can host even the senior Asian Championship here,” said Tony Yue Kwok Leung, secretary general of the Asian Table Tennis Union.

The official, who is in the capital for the Asian juniors, was also quick to point out the things that need attention.

“It is a world class structure, but it needs to be modernised fully. The wi-fi internet in the hall is not functional, it is only available in the lounge area.”

An under-15 player from Singapore was awe-struck onseeing the venue.

“Everything is so clean here, the washrooms, corridors and changing rooms are all so neat. Honestly, I did not expect such a thing,” said the player, who gave his name as Oscar.

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