R. Premadasa Stadium.

This stadium is the heart of Sri Lankan Cricket and the heart of the nation when big matches are on.

R. Premadasa Stadium seats 35,000 and – despite somewhat peeling paint – it makes for an great experience. For the history we recommend the Wikipedia page. What we offer here is more of a user guide.

Getting There

The stadium is in Maligawatte, in what was once a central part of Colombo but is now fairly removed. The stadium itself is somewhat oddly situated with housing projects and temples seemingly within the premises.

The easiest way to get there is to take Baseline Road. You pass the bridge over the rail tracks and then turn left at the next big roundabout, onto Sri Saddama Mawatha, at the Maligawatta Burial Grounds. While there is parking across the street at the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (and at any place that locals feel like renting out), this is not really recommended. It’s better to park some distance away and take a trishaw in.

If you do want to park, go through Maradana to the Panchikawatta junction and approach the stadium that way. You can theoretically park at the Cooperative Wholesale place.

Getting In

We apologize for the weak map above, but it’s the closest you’ll get to a R. Premadasa Stadium Seating Chart.

The main entry points to the stadium are from Sri Suddarama Road – you can either walk in from the Khettarama Temple Road or the Maligawatta Jumma Masjid Road. Which road you take doesn’t depend on religion, the Jumma Masjid Road takes you to gates 6, 7, 8 and 9, so people sitting in the D section. Otherwise, take the Khettarama Temple Road. From there you turn right and walk around to wherever your gate is.

If you’re in the Grandstand or the A or B sections you have quite a long walk. They don’t let you walk along the stadium, you have to take quite a detour and walk along the canal. On the other side there is what seems to be a fart factory.

For busy games allocate at least 20 minutes to get from the road to your seat.

What Are The Best Seats?

View from the Grandstand

As a bit of an aside, the seats offer quite different views of the game. What matters is height and the angle you have on the game. In our opinion, Grandstand is the best. From there you can see both wickets laid out in front of you. While the view is better from the upper decks, the crowds are definitely more lively on the field level. There’s really no place that’s especially bad, though when you’re in the lower seats at field level you can’t really follow what’s going on. You can see the cheerleaders though, which is more sadly hilarious than actually cheering.

The Food

We covered the T20 World Cup Food at length here. The concessions have been given to Pepsi and Yum! brands so you get KFC, Pizza Hut, hot dogs, Lays potato chips and Lion Beer. No wade or traditional Sri Lankan bites. And everything is rather expensive. KFC spicy drumlets cost Rs. 270 (or Rs. 300 delivered to your seat), a tiny pizza costs Rs. 400 and a hot dog is Rs. 100. A beer is 100 and that’s fine, but it is somehow physically impossible to get tipsy off of them.

The Experience

Once you get there (following our tips), the experience is awesome. Not to be missed. Nothing beats a tense Sri Lanka cricket game, and the show is good even when Sri Lanka isn’t playing.

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