The Bhaichung Bhutia Stadium, the first FIFA-certified stadium in Sikkim will be inaugurated on October 20 to commemorate the legacy of the former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia.

The ground was formerly called Alley ground and used to host several state-level tournaments and groomed many local players.

The ground will be inaugurated by the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu.

The playing area is 105 metres by 68 metres and 115 metres by 78 metres is the total area including the reserved space.

The construction of the ground began in 2012 and was scheduled to be completed by 2015. But due to issues with the funding, the work could not be completed.

Initially, the amount sanctioned was Rs 32 crore, now it has come to a cumulative cost of around Rs 63 crore. The construction was completed in March 2020, but due to the COVID 19 pandemic the inauguration was delayed. The partnership between the state and centre in funding for the ground has been 10 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively.

The total seating capacity was 10,000 with two galleries, Northern and Eastern having 4000 chairs and the VIP gallery with 340 chairs. There is a gym, changing room for players, hostel and kitchen.

There are 4 entrances to the stadium, with parking spaces for over 50 vehicles.

The ground has been certified by FIFA with tiger turf being used on the ground by a devoted company Etios, which has previously been used in the Paljor Stadium.

The former Alley ground was home to the Governor’s and Chief Minister’s Gold Cup.

Also read | UPSC 2020: Two from Sikkim clear exam, make state proud



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