A whole new ball game!

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In Ahmedabad, TransStadia is building an urban world-class sports arena which is all set to transform the concept of developing sports infrastructure in India. In an interaction with Subhajit Roy, TransStadia’s MD and Founder Udit Sheth, takes us through the fine details of this humungous project.

In January 2009, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat (and current Prime Minister of India) Narendra Modi envisioned the creation of India’s first truly world-class multi-purpose 25,000 capacity stadium, to be built in Ahmedabad Mega city, Gujarat. Today, Mumbai-based TransStadia is all set to unveil his dream project.

TransStadia, stands for transformable stadium, will open the door of first-of-its-kind IGBC-certified ‘world-class urban infrastructure for sports and entertainment’ on 1st September. The ambitious project is being developed under the public-private partnership model with the Gujarat government with an investment of `535 crore.

Explaining the objectives behind introducing this innovative concept in India, Udit Sheth, Managing Director and Founder of TransStadia said, “When we conceived TransStadia, our sole intention was to build an industry on the back of viable sports infrastructure. In India, most stadiums are utilised merely for about 10 days in a year and are ‘white elephant’. For example, the sports infrastructure developed around Delhi for the last Commonwealth Games are lying almost idle. Our aim is to increase stadium utilisation thereby enhancing economic viability.”

TransStadia has exclusive licenses for the patented StadiArena and T-Box technologies that augment stadium utilisation from the current 2 per cent per annum to around 70 per cent per annum.
The StadiArena technology, developed by renowned stadium expert and CEO of the UK’s Burnley Football Club Paul Fletcher, helps to increase stadium utilisation by converting a stand into an indoor arena within 6 minutes. T-Box modular seating system can be used to host world-class sporting and non-sporting events without the expense of building a stadium. A 5,000-seater arena can be set up within 24 hours.

Committed to change the perception around sports in India through TransStadia, Udit is closely working with AIU (Association of Indian Universities), under the aegis of the Ministry of HRD (Human Resource Development) to create a sustainable and scalable competition for university and college sports in India. He has presented this concept at the recently concluded World Stadium Congress recently held in Qatar.

Being built over sprawling 9 acres of land, the ‘self sufficient’ stadium will comprise of two crucial parts: Sports infrastructure facility will constitute to 72 per cent of the total built-up area of the project whereas the remaining 28 per cent will host hospitality and other retail and commercial facilities which will help generate revenue to maintain the facility and keep the project viable.

Future calling
Udit believes that any urban area has the requirement of adequate sports infrastructure. He said, “We would like to build 10-12 world-class stadiums across the country and also a few smaller to expand the reach with an estimated investment of $ 1 billion.”

Apart from extending its discussion with the centre, TransStadia is already working with four state governments namely Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. “We are working on PPP model with state agencies and they have in-principle accepted our way of functioning,” informed Udit.

While answering to a question on creating economic viability and expected return on investments, he said, “We are looking at a 21-22 per cent internal rate of return. We expect to achieve the breakeven anywhere between 4 to 7 years depending on the location of the projects.”

TransStadia is also upbeat on the government’s 100-smart city project as it will create more opportunities.

A ‘green’ structure
Green features include rainwater harvesting, zero wastewater discharge, mist fire fighting mechanism so even if there is a fire, not much water will be wasted. The entire complex designed with 1.79 lakh sq. ft. green landscaping on all periphery, floors and terrace of the building.

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