N Ravender, the proprietor of a real estate firm, was under pressure from his children to buy tickets for the IPL final in Hyderabad. The situation at home had got so bad that the kids were skipping a meal as part of a partial hunger strike till Ravender arranged for the tickets. But by the time he went online on Tuesday, he found the tickets had been sold out.
Such is the public-unfriendly way of working of the IPL management that there was no intimation that the tickets sold on 7 May were only 20 per cent of the 37800 seats at the Rajiv Gandhi cricket stadium. So much for the transparency that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) was expected to introduce into the manner in which the BCCI functioned. Most fans believed all the tickets had been sold out.
Another 30 per cent of the tickets were up for grabs online on 9 May from 9 am. The problem was you would come to know of it only if you followed EventsNow on Twitter and Facebook, where they had given the details the previous night. Events Now is the agency that is handling the online sales of tickets. By the time Ravender came to know at 11 am, not a single ticket was available.
Unlike the league matches, where 80 per cent of the tickets were available for the public, the IPL finals are seeing less than 70 per cent of the seats on sale. That is because passes will have to be made available to the sponsors, the eight franchisee teams and the different association representatives. The last lot – another 15-odd per cent of the tickets – are expected to be put up for sale on Saturday morning.
“News reports that said the tickets were sold in two minutes on day one are wrong. Tickets were available for up to three hours,” Naidu Darapeneni, CEO of EventsNow.com told Filter Kaapi. EventsNow.com also handled all the Sunrisers matches at the Hyderabad stadium and the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 matches in Visakhapatnam.
“At any given point in time, there are 10000 to 20000 people on the website looking to book tickets. Only four tickets per person are allowed. Which means there is a demand for 40000 to 80000 tickets so obviously many are bound to feel disappointed,” said Naidu.
The demand is high even though the price of the tickets for the finals has been hiked. There is no ticket available for Rs 500 any more and the price range is between Rs 1500 and Rs 5000.
EventsNow.com claims it is taking all precautions to prevent hoarding and blackmarketing of tickets. To buy even a single ticket, the buyer’s mobile number, e-mail and credit/debit card number is mandatory.
“Despite all this, it is possible that ten people can sit together and buy up to 40 tickets and then sell them in the black market. But if the police wants, it can track down the tickets out in the black market. The details of who bought the tickets are available in our server,” said Naidu.
The IPL finals were shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad because up to 12000 seats at Chepauk were not available. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association had failed to acquire approval from the government to reopen three stands at the M A Chidambaram stadium.
Mumbai Indians will face the winner of the Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals match in Visakhapatnam on Friday in the finals on Sunday.