Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan

The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK; transl.Vivekananda Indian Youth Stadium), commonly known as the Salt Lake Stadium,[5][6] is an all-seater multi-purpose stadium located in Bidhannagar, with current capacity of 85,000 spectators.[7][8] Named after Swami Vivekananda, the stadium is the home ground for multiple football clubs, most notably ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan. It is the fifth largest sports stadium in Asia by seating capacity.[9] Before its renovation in 2011, it was the largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000.[10][11] Prior to the construction and opening of Rungrado May Day Stadium in 1989, it was the largest football stadium in the world. The stadium hosted the final match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, alongside hosting other matches of the tournament.[12][13] As part of security measures for the 2017 U-17 World Cup, the stadium was only open for 66,687 viewers.[14]

Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan
Salt Lake Stadium
Salt Lake Stadium during FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 ....jpg
Salt Lake Stadium on a matchday of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup
LocationBidhannagar, Kolkata[1]
Public transitKolkata Metro Rail Corporation Logo.svg Salt Lake Stadium (Line 2)
OwnerGovernment of West Bengal
OperatorDepartment of Youth Services & Sports
Record attendance131,781 spectators in 1997 Federation Cup Semi-final
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
SurfaceGrass (1984–2011)
Astro-turf (2011–2015)
Bermuda Grass (2015–present)[3][4]
ScoreboardYes (manual & digital)
Opened25 January 1984; 39 years ago (1984-01-25)
Renovated2011, 2014,[2] 2016–2017
ArchitectM. S. Ballardie, Thompson & Matthews Pvt. Ltd.
H. K. Sen & Associates
India national football team (1984–present)
East Bengal (1984–present)
Mohammedan (1984–present)
Mohun Bagan(1984–present)
ATK (2014–2020)
ATK Mohun Bagan(2020–present)
Durand Cup
Calcutta Football League
IFA Shield
West Bengal football team (Santosh Trophy) (sometimes)

The stadium's record attendance was recorded in 1997 when 131,781 spectators watched the Federation Cup semifinal between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.[15]

The stadium switched back to natural grass from artificial turf as part of the preparations for hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017. The new turf was unveiled in a Kolkata Derby match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during the 2015–16 Calcutta Premier Division match.[16]


The stadium was established in 1984 because the club grounds in the Maidan area, each with capacity around 20,000, were proving too small for the huge crowd that occupied the grounds on matchdays. And while the Eden Gardens was there to handle some of the bigger games, like the Kolkata Derby, the pressure of handling both cricket and football was proving to be a bit too much for the stadium.[17]

The stadium before renovation, an aerial view.

The stadium is situated approximately 10 kilometres to the east of the Kolkata downtown. The roof is made of metal tubes and aluminum sheets and concrete. The stadium was inaugurated in January 1984. There are two electronic scoreboards and control rooms. There is illumination at night . There are special arrangements for TV broadcasting.[18]

The gigantic stadium features three tiers of concrete galleries. The stadium has 9 entry gates and 30 ramps for the spectators to reach the viewing blocks. The nine gates include the VIP gate. The gates 1 and 2 are on Kadapara road, gate no.3, 3A, 4, 4A and 4B are on the side of Broadway; gate no 5 and the VIP gate are on the side of EM By pass. The ramps are inside the stadium and link the inner ring road to the different levels of the stadium complex.[19]

The stadium covers an area of 76.40 acres (309,200 m2). The stadium has a unique[citation needed] synthetic track for athletic meets. It has a main football arena measuring 105 by 70 metres (344 ft × 230 ft). It also houses electronics scoreboards, elevators, VIP enclosures, peripheral floodlighting arrangement from the roof-top, air-conditioned VIP rest room, conference hall and much more. The stadium has its own water arrangements and standby diesel generation sets.[18]


The 1 billion (US$13 million) renovation project started in February 2015. The artificial turf at the stadium has been replaced by an all-natural grass pitch. The new grass is from Riviera Bermuda seeds procured from the United States and below it there are two layers of sand and gravel. The next layer is fitted with perforated pipes to prevent water-logging.

German company Porplastic provided the elastic coating for the running track around the pitch which was replaced for the first time since the stadium was built in 1984. The old track has been scooped out and the new surface was laid.

The lobby of the VIP entrance that leads to the player's arena, was air-conditioned. The broadcast rooms and stadium offices were renovated.

Bucket seats replaced the concrete benches in the galleries, which brought down the stadium's capacity from 120,000 to 85,000.

The VIP and press boxes, both in the middle tier, were pulled down and a new press box with a capacity of 240 seats is now on the third tier. The VIP box remained on the second tier, with an added 240 seats. The press conference room that used to be cramped during derbies and matches featuring international teams has been shifted to a 19 x 8.5-metre space under a gallery. A spacious broadcast room of similar dimensions has been built as well.

Two full-sized practice grounds with perforations on the surface for underground drainage and eight floodlight towers have come up at the Hyatt end of the stadium, as recommended by FIFA. The same imported Riviera Bermuda grass used on the main turf will cover the practice grounds. The drainage network has been designed to ensure that the surface never becomes slushy. The referees rooms have been built alongside the practice grounds.

The number of gates to the stadium has been increased from seven to nine. Some of the existing gates has been widened too, as are the approaches that connect the entrances and exits to the ring road. Each link road is 21 meters wide. The surroundings has been beautified by the forest department.

To the left of the lobby, rooms have been constructed for referees and ball boys.[3][4][20][19]


The stadium is located in the satellite township of Salt Lake in North 24 Parganas and it also lies beside the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass which makes it easily accessible by road.


There are numerous buses which ply around the city to the stadium. The Line 2 of the Kolkata Metro is passing near the stadium, therefore the stadium has its own station, opened on 13 February 2020 .[21] The stadium is approx 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) away from N.S.C.Bose International Airport.

Football matchesEdit

Indian crowd during the match between FC Bayern Munich and Mohun Bagan AC, May 27, 2008

After its inauguration in January, 1984 with the Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup, the Salt Lake Stadium has hosted several important international tournaments and matches such as matches of the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification in 1985, Super-Soccers in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1994, 3rd South Asian Games in 1987, USSR Festival Cup in 1988, Charminar Challenger Trophy in 1992 and the Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup in 1995.

The Salt Lake Stadium hosts the home games of the local clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal who played in the I-League and now plays in the ISL as ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, respectively. It also hosts the games of Mohammedan, who currently play in the 2nd Division I-League. Many of the home games of the Indian Team are also played in the Salt Lake Stadium. Since 2014 a new tenant team Atlético de Kolkata (playing in the ISL) has made the stadium their home ground. Later ATK merged with Mohun Bagan in 2020 and became ATK Mohun Bagan.

On June 5, 2011, FIFA scheduled a friendly match[citation needed] to be played at the Salt Lake on 2 September 2011. The match was played between Argentina and Venezuela. This was a historic occasion in the history of Indian football and also for the stadium as the match featured Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. [22][23] The stadium has also hosted Oliver Kahn's official farewell match for Bayern Munich when they played a friendly match against Mohun Bagan. Bayern Munich won the match 3–0.[24] In December 2012, a friendly match was played between Brazil Masters and IFA All Stars. Brazil Masters won it 3–1. Beto scored twice and Bebeto scored one goal for Brazil Masters.[25]

On 12 October 2014, the stadium hosted the first match in the Indian Super League, preceded by an opening ceremony which featured superstars from the footballing world as well as from Bollywood. In the opening match, Atlético de Kolkata defeated Mumbai City FC 3–0.[26] The stadium hosted its last match of the inaugural edition of ISL on 14 December where Atlético de Kolkata played FC Goa in the first leg of the semi-finals. Salt Lake stadium was the only stadium among the eight venues of ISL where matches were allowed to be played on artificial turf. It hosted 11 matches in 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, including the Final. The stadium also hosted the FIFA world cup qualification match between Bangladesh and India.

Other usesEdit

The stadium also hosts important athletic events. It has hosted the SAF Games in 1987 and various national athletics events in India. The stadium also hosts different kinds of cultural programs such as dance and music concerts. The stadium also hosted the opening ceremony of 2013 IPL Season.[27][28]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "North 24 Parganas district". West Bengal Tourism, Experience Bengal, Dept. of Tourism, Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Yuva Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)". Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016..
  3. ^ a b "Salt Lake stadium goes Cup class". Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Renovated, Salt Lake all decked up to welcome future stars at City of Joy". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Salt Lake". Department of Tourism (West Bengal). Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  6. ^ Guha, Sayantan (14 May 2022). "Brilliant Gokulam Kerala FC edge past Mohammedan SC to win historic consecutive I-League titles". Kolkata, West Bengal: Sportskeeda. Archived from the original on 15 May 2022. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Kolkata – Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan". Hindustan Times. 20 September 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  8. ^ Bhattacharjee, Neeladri (20 August 2022). "Durand Cup HIGHLIGHTS ATK Mohun Bagan loses 2–3 to Rajasthan United, ATKMB vs RUFC; Mariners lose first match". Kolkata, West Bengal: Sportstar. The Hindu. Archived from the original on 20 August 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mann, Chris (24 November 2009). "The 10 largest football stadiums in the world: #2 – Salt Lake Stadium (Kolkata, India)". Sports Lens. Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  11. ^ Wadwha, Arjun (19 May 2008). "History of Football in India". TheSportsCampus. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Match Schedule – FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Kolkata possible host for U-17 World Cup Final: FIFA". The Statesman. 18 February 2016. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  14. ^ "FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 - Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan -". Archived from the original on 9 February 2017.
  15. ^ Bhaskaran, K. (19 July 1997). "Beneath the box office lurks hidden danger". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Salt lake stadium to get natural turf". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Stadium stories for the VYBK". 21 September 2015. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Yuva Bharati Krirangan: West Bengal Sports Department". Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Fifa 2017". Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Refurbished at over Rs 100 crore, Salt Lake stadium handed over to Fifa on Sunday". 10 September 2017. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Kolkata East-West Metro trial run in Dec". @businessline. 24 July 2017. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Lionel Messi arrives in Kolkata for friendly match against Venezuela". Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Venezuela vs Argentina match report". Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Bayern wins 3–0 against Mohun Bagan". Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  25. ^ "Brazil masters win 3–1 against IFA All Stars". Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Atletico de Kolkata beat Mumbai City FC 3–0 in ISL opener | Football News – Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  27. ^ "SRK, Katrina and Pitbull to perform at IPL opening ceremony". @businessline. 24 March 2013. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  28. ^ "SRK, Deepika and Pitbull take Salt Lake stadium by storm at IPL opening ceremony". India Today. Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Largest football stadium in the world
January 1984 – May 1989
Succeeded by