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Kerala Blasters’ Home Ground, JLN Stadium To Host Concerts, Award Shows and Non-sporting Events

The home of Kerala Blasters Football Club, the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kaloor, Kochi, could be potentially hosting non-sporting events such as award shows and concerts in the near future.

JLN Stadium Kochi Image Credits Wikipedia Kerala Blasters' Home Ground, JLN Stadium To Host Concerts, Award Shows and Non-sporting Events
JLN Stadium Kochi, Image Credits- Wikipedia

The JLN stadium is owned by Greater Cochin Development Authority (GDCA). The GDCA has made plans to put their money in ‘turf protection tiles’, which are used by some of the famous stadiums worldwide during off-season to generate revenue.

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Expansion Plans for Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi

The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, is set to expand its horizons beyond sports, more than just being home to the Kerala Blasters Football Club.

The annual budget presented by GDCA on Monday has granted Rs. 8 crore for the venture. Chairman of Greater Cochin Development Authority (GDCA), Chandran Pillai stated that the idea for such a project is because they want to make the iconic stadium more serviceable throughout the year.

The JLN Stadium has hosted many international cricket matches over the years. It is now the home ground of football club Kerala Blasters. But the club uses the stadium and gallery only for five months a year, between October and February,” Pillai said.

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Kerala Blasters Image Credits X Twitter Kerala Blasters' Home Ground, JLN Stadium To Host Concerts, Award Shows and Non-sporting Events
Kerala Blasters, Image Credits- X (Twitter)

Even though the stadium remains inactive during the rest of the year, the turf is regularly maintained. We are aiming to open the stadium for non-sports events during off-season. The stadium could be used for cultural events that can host around 35,000 people.”

The GDCA is aiming to use turf protection tiles made of high-density polyethylene which will allow the grass to grow and will protect the turf as well.

These tiles are transparent and allows the grass to grow. The turf can be protected with these tiles while conducting events such as award shows, concerts and public meetings. GCDA can increase revenues by organising such events or by renting out the venue. We are trying to get funds for this from the state sports department too,” Pillai said.

A lot of famous and iconic stadiums around the world are now open to hosting non-sporting events after laying out turf protection. Like the Estadio Monumental, River Plate’s home ground in Argentina. The stadium has a capacity of 80,000 and regularly hosts music concerts. Famous rock bands ‘Guns N’ Roses’ and Coldplay performed at the Estadio Monumental two years ago with fans swarming the grass surface that was covered with turf protection.

Kerala Blasters Image Credits X Twitter 1 Kerala Blasters' Home Ground, JLN Stadium To Host Concerts, Award Shows and Non-sporting Events
Kerala Blasters, Image Credits- X (Twitter)

Pillai underscored the plan to transform the stadium into a hub for cultural events, acknowledging the consistent upkeep of the turf despite periods of inactivity, capable of accommodating up to 35,000 attendees during the off-season. At the heart of this transformation is the implementation of turf protection tiles made from high-density polyethylene. These transparent structures promote grass growth while ensuring the safety of the playing surface. Pillai described the revenue opportunities in hosting events such as award ceremonies, concerts, and public gatherings.

Closure of Kerala Blasters’ Women’s Team: Team Director Speaks Out

Kerala Blasters’ women’s team was established in July 2022. And yet, the club closed down the operation, exactly 11 months later, citing financial constraints resulting from a fine accrued by the men’s team exiting a playoff match in the ISL. Not only did this announcement spark outrage throughout the nation but women’s footballers were also voicing their annoyance.

Why should the women’s team suffer for the actions of the men’s team?” was the question they asked mainly. It generated negative publicity for the KBFC management and the club’s owner, Magnum Sports Private Limited.

Nikhil Bhardwaj Image Credits X Twitter jpg Kerala Blasters' Home Ground, JLN Stadium To Host Concerts, Award Shows and Non-sporting Events
Nikhil Bhardwaj, Image Credits- X (Twitter)

From our perspective, this was probably the most straightforward explanation compared to what else I could explain in a one-on-one conversation where we have a back-and-forth“, Nikhil told The Bridge in an exclusive interview.

While we anticipated a negative reaction to the announcement, we didn’t expect it to be this significant. However, we also believe this situation should never have occurred due to a walkout. It’s very unfortunate, but from our perspective, that was the one tangible reason we felt comfortable disclosing without going into further detail,” he added.

But, other significant factors resulted in the closure of the women’s team. Back in January of last year, or early December, we found out that we wouldn’t be part of the men’s academy project we were working on in Trivandrum. It was surprising because the club has been around for ten years in the state and contributed immensely to the grassroots development.

This news prompted us to reconsider our approach with the women’s team which was started from scratch on the promise of a professional setup, and a platform to showcase local talent. But, these plans are inconsequential if we can’t even give them a chance to train on proper grounds, amidst numerous other grassroots level issues,” explained Nikhil.


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