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Tepid response forces IPL to slash ticket prices

Cricket fans in Mumbai are stumped—no home team to cheer for. And the steep ticket prices at IPL matches were hurting the average fan, too. Varun Gupta reports.

cricket Updated: May 31, 2008 00:32 IST
Varun Gupta

Cricket fans in Mumbai are stumped—no home team to cheer for. And the steep ticket prices at IPL matches were hurting the average fan, too. So, ahead of Friday’s Delhi vs Jaipur semifinal, the Mumbai franchisee slashed ticket prices, some of them by as much as ten times.

A Rs 10,000 ticket, for instance, was reduced to Rs 1,000 in the Wankhede’s Vijay Merchant stand. The official explanation? Such high demand that the organisers decided to slash prices "as a goodwill gesture." However, when HT visited the ticket counters on the game’s eve, we found few takers, with no sign of the serpentine queues usually seen at big-ticket games in Mumbai.

Off the record, top officials confirmed to HT that the lukewarm response had forced such a drastic step. "Because of the absence of Mumbai from the semis, the interest from the locals has indeed been lukewarm. Also, the initial ticket prices were also high and because of that too we struggled to sell tickets. After the reduction, the demand seems to be increasing," said an official. "Our real business is coming from the corporates and franchise owners buying higher-denominator tickets in bulk," added another.

Many doubted whether Mumbai, which got the right to host the final only because it was the costliest side, would attract highly-passionate locals to witness something they had no emotional connect with. With the prices slashed now, they’ll still fill up the stands.