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May 14, 2008
Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium has been confirmed as the venue of the final of the IPL on June 1. Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, said the match had to be shifted out the Wankhede Stadium because the capacity of the DY Patil Stadium is much higher.
"That stadium has more capacity and also there are many ICC representatives who will be attending the final and Wankhede doesn't have so much space to accomodate," Pawar told reporters in Mumbai. "Wankhede can accommodate only around 32,000 and DY Patil can house around 55,000. It's (difference) huge."
Originally the DY Patil stadium, which is in Nerul (about 40km from south Mumbai's business district), was scheduled to host Mumbai's five league games between April 27 and May 16. But the MCA told the DY Patil authorities that since Mumbai's next two games - against Chennai and Kolkata - take place on weekdays, it would be difficult for the fans to travel such a distance late in the evening after their office hours. Both games were shifted to the Wankhede Stadium, in South Mumbai's business district. Wankhede, however will host the two semi-finals as scheduled.
With the Wankhede Stadium set to host the final of the 2011 World Cup, Pawar said plans were on to demolish the stadium and rebuild it from scratch to meet ICC standards.
"We had a meeting with the Mumbai Hockey Association and they have given us in writing that one portion of their space can be utilised by us. There's no way we can conduct the World Cup final in present conditions. ICC will not accept it. We need to build better facilities for all, including for the media.
"We will start work in August. The whole structure will be razed down first and a fresh one built. The refurbished stadium will be ready by December 2010 and the World Cup is in March-April 2011."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.