Business has never been this good for venues hosting Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test series. To start with both Mumbai and Kolkata are expecting capacity turnouts.
"Even in the last Test against England (in 2012), we were struggling to sell tickets. This time we are struggling to meet the demand. After a long time have we seen such good business," said a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official.
While tickets are flying off the counter, the in-stadia rights of Eden Gardens too have become costlier from this match and that translates into a substantial profit for the CAB.
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Lot's in a name
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has even gone ahead and offered tickets of the upper tier of the Sachin Tendulkar stand at a whopping Rs. 10,000 per seat. There are 1500 seats available. Another smart business trick by the MCA is the plan to auction 200 gold-plated silver replicas of a specially minted coin to be used for the toss of Tendulkar's 200th and last Test.
Hospitality boxes are normally in demand during the Indian domestic Twenty20 meet but Tendulkar's swansong has changed equations a bit.
"Normally there is very little demand for hospitality boxes during Tests except for the ones kept aside for the sponsors. But people are offering Rs. 5-10 lakh for each box only for this Test," said a CAB official.
The going rates can be anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. The CAB's policy of selling hospitality boxes for 10 years is no deterrent as well. "One person has even bought the box at a hiked rate for nine years since he is convinced that this one Test will compensate for the missing year," he said.
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In kind too
The CAB is also benefiting from business houses seeking to cash in on Sachin's 199th Test. "An advertising company has put up cut-outs Sachin Tendulkar all around the city along with the CAB logo. They are not charging us a penny," said the CAB official.
Not only within the stadium, the CAB also has to spend a considerable amount on match related infrastructure around it. "We spend a few lakh on putting up barricades, watch towers for police personnel and kiosks around the stadium. This time, many companies have agreed to do it in exchange for branding," he said.
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