“Camera positions, video screens, scoreboards, camera platforms, restricted seats and other operational requirements” resulted in “a lot of seats majorly in all stadia” being “killed.”
This was discussed in a meeting of the CWG Organising Committee (OC) 12 days before the inaugural ceremony. And when it discovered that it was running on terribly low ticket sales, the Committee came up with 42 categories of people to whom it decided to distribute 30 per cent of the CWG tickets.
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal who secured the minutes of this meeting, says, “Instead of giving tickets to VVIPs of all kinds beyond those required for national pride, rest of the tickets could have been given to school children. Especially when, the government does not think twice about asking them to stand for hours on end in the heat or the cold for Republic Day and Independence Day functions.”
With 12 days left for the inaugural ceremony, the OC was told that the sales were not in keeping with the expectations. Director Ticketing, Monica
Jolly, told the Executive Board of the OC that “only 1.21 lakh
of inventory has been sold amounting to R12.8 crore approximately... against an available inventory of 14 lakh tickets… on account of the negative publicity and uncertainty surrounding the Games… spectators not keen to purchase tickets”.
The minutes said that the Board was “concerned” that empty stands at the stadium “would not only be an issue with broadcasters but a serious issue with the success of the games.” That’s when it decided to give the tickets for the inaugural and closing ceremonies to “various games constituents”. These included political parties, government officers, judiciary, diplomats, media, Delhi Police, Delhi University among others.
It decided to distribute unsold tickets for the sporting events to the Ministry of Sports, the Delhi government, the OC, Defence Services, venue owners, sports federations, state governments, stakeholders, athletes and their families.