While thousands of people were not able to get tickets for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed that about one-fourth of the tickets remained unsold.
The CAG report, tabled in parliament Friday, pointed out that excess issue of complimentary tickets, contrary to the Commonwealth Games Federation "no free ticket policy" was a major problem for the October Games.
"As compared to the previous two CWG - Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006 - the ticket sales for the Games were poor, while the percentage of complimentary tickets was nearly three times that of earlier Games," said the 743-page report.
"There were also a large number of unsold tickets," it added.
Ticketing represented the third largest source of revenue potential for the Games.
According to the CAG, 1,412,000 seats were available and of these only 561,000 (40 %) were sold while 495,000 lakh (35 %) were distributed free-of-charge and 356,000 (25 %) remained unsold.
However, against the targeted revenue of Rs 100 crore, the actual revenue generated was just Rs 39.17 crore, of which only Rs.27.49 crore had been realised as of December 2010.
After setting off costs of Rs 23.37 crore, the net ticketing revenue was just Rs15.80 crore.
"This dismal performance was attributable to a critically delayed appointment of the ticketing consultant and the ticketing agency, inadequate marketing, low ticket sales and spectator attendance and excessive distribution of complimentary tickets (especially high value tickets), paradoxically coupled with reports of non-availability of tickets," the report said.
It said the price range of 50 times between the cheapest and the costliest tickets (Rs750 to Rs50,000) for the opening and closing ceremonies was higher than the ranges of 5.9 times for Melbourne and 7.8 times for Manchester Games.
"The need to inflate revenue projections may have been a reason for this wide price range," it added.