Hockey fans gearing up to enjoy the Olympic Qualifiers from February 18-26 at the National Stadium should also prepare to enhance their own endurance.
The daylong schedule - from 10am to 10pm for the first five days - could be as energy sapping as the home team's efforts to win a ticket to the London Olympic Games.
The entry tickets are nominally priced at R500 and R300, respectively. But there is a catch! They are valid for just one entry. If, during the match, you feel like going out of the stadium for sometime, you will have to purchase a fresh ticket, as the earlier one would become invalid.Hockey India (HI) secretary-general, Narinder Batra, expressed helplessness saying, "It is being done to check manipulation. We want to minimise the chances of one ticket being used by several persons. It will overcrowd the place. We want to ensure that genuine ticket holders are not deprived of action," he said.
On normal days, a full house can only be expected during the last match of the day scheduled at 8 pm, featuring India.
Walk a little extra
Apart from ticketing issues, lack of parking space inside the stadium could add to the spectators' woes, as they would have to walk that extra bit to reach the venue. There is a huge underground parking inside the stadium, but cannot be used due to security reasons.
The Sports Authority of India's (SAI) secretary, Gopal Krishan, said, "We haven't got the clearance from the Delhi Police to use the area."
HI would issue complimentary tickets to hockey Olympians and international players for the tournament. HI's chairman of the coaching and development committee, Ajitpal Singh, has been entrusted with the job.
The federation also plans to give 50 per cent discount to students. But each individual can avail only one ticket.