Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sporting arena

Home - rather, office address - to almost all sports associations in the state, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium is the best venue in Chennai for track & field events or football matches. It would be a great experience to watch an exciting match or soak in the thrill of serious running and jumping when the stands are full. But the capacity has rarely been tested, mainly because neither athletics nor football arouses serious passions in a Chennaite. Sure, Nallusamy Annavi first came onto the national scene at Madras about 20 years ago with his record setting high-jump effort, but he never considered himself a Madrasi and the fever his record created died out pretty quickly.

As for football, the stadium is rated for international games, but memory strains to recall a decent international football match here. There have been matches of the South Asian games and suchlike, but none that featured high-powered international stars - and there are few local stars in the game.

No wonder then that the stands appear deserted almost all the time. A few hundred spectators watching a league football match or a state-level athletics meet will hardly serve to fill the 40,000 seats in this stadium!


Lowell said...

Looks a beautiful stadium. Too bad it isn't used more.

Shantaram said...

@ Jacob: More's the pity!