As the stands at several Commonwealth Games venues remained mostly empty, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has stepped in to boost the crowd. On Tuesday evening, the sports body asked the Organ-ising Committee to give passes to sports-promoting institutes.
Sources said that the Delhi government, too, has asked the OC to provide free entry to school and college students. Reportedly, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi, saying that the students should be allowed into the venues on the basis of their identity cards.
“Whether it is hockey, gymnastics or swimming, the youth are always interested. In a city like Delhi there are several organisations which are working to promote sports,” a source at the OC said. “It would be good if those who are interested in sports were given free passes to watch the matches.”
The idea behind the move is to fill the stadiums, which are witnessing fewer spectators. According to the officials, most of the events don’t have enough crowd, especially when India is not playing. They said even tennis events, in which India is participating, saw just 43 people in the stands.