Kerala Blasters' home ground could soon host concerts, award shows with help of technology

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An aerial view of the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium at Kaloor in Kochi. File photo: Manorama

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

The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) that owns the stadium has planned to invest in 'turf protection tiles', which are used by some of the famous stadiums throughout the world during off-season.

GCDA’s annual budget presented on Monday has allocated Rs 8 crore for the purpose. GCDA Chairman K Chandran Pillai said the idea was to make the iconic stadium useful 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.

“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.”

Vehicle and other heavy-duty items over the playing surface of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US. Photo:

The GCDA aims to use turf protection tiles made of high-density polyethylene. “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.

Stadium flooring is being used to cover the playing surface of the iconic Estadio Moumental River Plate in Argentina. Photo:

Some of the famous stadiums in the world throw open their facilities for non-sporting events after laying out turf protection. Argentina's iconic Estadio Monumental, the home ground of River Plate, is a classic case. The 80,000-capacity stadium regularly hosts music concerts. Two years ago famous rock bands 'Guns N' Roses' and Coldplay performed at the venue with fans thronging the grass surface that was covered with turf protection.

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