The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, located in the heart of Ahmedabad, represents the progressive ideals and experimental spirit that characterized India’s post-independence period. Designed in the 1960s by renowned architect Charles Correa and engineer Mahendra Raj, the stadium is part of a larger constellation of structures built in Ahmedabad by a generation of local and international architects who helped create a new architectural language in India. Those structures include the Sanskar Kendra Museum and Mill Owners' Association Headquarters designed by Le Corbusier, the Indian Institute of Management designed by Louis Kahn, the Tagore Memorial Hall and the Amdavad ni Gufa art gallery designed by Balkrishna Doshi, and the Gujarat High Court Building designed by Bimal Patel. This collection of buildings illustrates the cultural and economic importance of Ahmedabad following partition of the State of Bombay in the 1960s.
The stadium was originally built to host international cricket matches, including the first ever One Day International match in 1981, but it later became a regular venue for India’s domestic cricket season after a nearby stadium was constructed in 1982. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium is open to the public and has become an important recreational hub for the local community, who use it for recreation and as an event space for local schools. The stadium has become a unique resource for quality open space in a country where urban encroachment is increasing every day.
Although it is situated in the heart of the city and is used daily by a large number of people, the stadium has suffered significant physical degradation as a result of decades of poor maintenance and lack of funding. Recognition as a cultural heritage site would ensure its protection and prevent potential loss.
The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium was included on the 2020 World Monuments Watch to draw attention to the complex challenges of preserving not only an iconic twentieth-century modern structure, but an emblematic public space for the people of Ahmedabad. WMF seeks to encourage a conservation management plan that includes the communities who support and benefit from the building.