Chepauk Stadium Chennai
Chepauk Stadium Chennai

MA Chidambaram stadium- History

MA Chidambaram stadium is located in Chennai and it is also known as Chepauk stadium. Established in 1916, the stadium has hosted plenty of Tests, ODIs, T20Is and also IPL matches involving the local IPL side, Chennai Super Kings and the final as well. The stadium which is controlled by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association is also the oldest cricket stadium in the country that is currently used on a consistent basis. It has a capacity of 50,000 seats but only 38,000 seats are being used.

The three stands of the stadium remains empty where it has a maximum capacity of 12,000 and each of the three stands, I, J and K have a capacity of 4,000 seats apiece. These three stands have not been used since November 2011.

Reason for the empty stands

The three stands in Chepauk have been under legal issues since their construction. The High Court in Madras put a stay on the use of those stands as TNCA altered with the assessment report for those stands. In fact, a criminal case was also issued against TNCA by the High Court in 2013. Late last year, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association got possession of the ground as it had entered into a new lease agreement for 21 years with the state government.

Subsequently, the Madras Cricket Club agreed to demolish its gym to create the required space, but it didn’t work out as the ground’s lease to TNCA and MCC had ended in 2015. Late last year, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association got possession of the ground as it had entered into a new lease agreement for 21 years with the state government.

Chepauk Stadium
Chepauk Stadium

A decision to demolish the gym was taken during a general body meeting of MCC recently. TNCA sources said work has begun for demolition of the gymnasium and once it is done, the Corporation and CMDA will be approached for reopening the stands. The three stands (I, J and K) will be opened for the forthcoming IPL, the sources added.

“After the demolition is completed, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) will seek permission of the Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for clearance for the three stands”, he added.

He also said that “the club will be building a new gymnasium, adding that arrangements for an alternate gym for members has already been made”.

The last time Chepauk had a full house audience before the stands were shut was when Pakistan visited India in December 2012 for an ODI series.