The IPL 2016 has reached its final stage as Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 2 on Friday. The match is basically a semi-final by all means and purposes; the winner goes onto face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final on Sunday. However, but by the looks of it, there might not be a lot of people at the Feroz Shah Kotla to watch two neutral teams play. Even the first Qualifier at the same venue on Wednesday between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders witnessed several empty seats and officials fear more of the same.
The DDCA would have to deal with many problems this directive of the board brings along with it. On the financial side, they would be levied with a Rs 8 lakh tax loss that is charged on the sale of tickets. Another roadblock that the DDCA would have to navigate is to not exceed the 10,000-complimentary ticket cap that was ordered by the Delhi High Court. At this point in time, the DDCA is already accepting around 7,000 complimentary tickets to be distributed among staff and first-class players.
A DDCA official had another solution to give. "Can’t the cash-rich board buy these tickets and distribute them among poor children?" he asked.
Packed stadiums at IPL games are now a relic of the past. An Economic Times report puts the attendance figures at the opening game of the 2016 IPL season at Feroz Shah Kotla at 60 per cent. It isn't just a Feroz Shah Kotla problem, as Mohali also averaged just 60 per cent attendance for a 26,000-seat stadium. One of the matches was held at 4 pm on a weekend, and under general circumstances, would attract larger crowds.
Rajkot and Pune are two venues which stand to be the exceptions this season. Rajkot, in particular, racked up a 90 per cent attendance for their game against Rising Pune Supergiants as confirmed by Gujarat Lions CEO Arvinder Singh. Singh also said that their game on 24 April against Royal Challengers Bangalore was sold out.
Delhi Daredevil CEO Heman Dua attributed the searing heat and an overdose of cricket as the reasons for low turnouts for this season's IPL games. "This has possibly happened because of too much cricket of the T20 format in recent months and of course also because of the excessive heat that has hit us earlier than normal," he told the newspaper.
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Updated Date: May 27, 2016 13:36:39 IST