West Indies in India 2011-12

Mumbai to cut ticket prices for Test

Nagraj Gollapudi

November 7, 2011

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

The match was played against a backdrop of empty seats, India v England, 5th ODI, Eden Gardens, October 25 2011
Empty stands at Eden Gardens during the ODI between India and England © Getty Images
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The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to slash ticket prices for the third Test between India and West Indies to try and draw larger crowds to the Wankhede Stadium. The decision comes after the low attendances during the recent India-England ODI series - 13,000 tickets were sold at the Wankhede Stadium, which seats 33,000.

Daily tickets for the Test will be priced as low as Rs 50 and season tickets for vantage viewing points like the premium Vithal Divecha Pavilion will be on offer for Rs 600. An ODI ticket for the same stand was priced at Rs 5000 (a comparison with previous Test ticket rates is difficult because the last match played at the Wankhede was five years ago). A season ticket in the North Stand will cost Rs 500; a ticket for the ODI against England was priced at Rs 3000. The reduction is even greater for the Sunil Gavaskar Stand (Rs 4000 to Rs 500).

"We are hoping that people take advantage of the season ticket because those are priced reasonably. If somebody buys a season ticket for Rs 500, he need not wait in the queue for a daily ticket that costs Rs 100," Ratnakar Shetty, one of the MCA vice-presidents and also the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said.

Shetty denied, however, that the price cuts were a direct consequence of the low turnout in the ODI series. "There is no relation between pricing and the abysmal turnout during the recent India-England one-day series," Shetty said. "In Kolkata a Rs 25,000 ticket was being sold at Rs 500, but still there were no takers. The cost was not a reason for low attendance. There were other reasons: both countries were playing back-to-back series and it was also the holiday season."

Shetty said it was almost impossible for any Indian ground to witness a full house any more, especially for a Test. "But you have to make sure you get as large a crowd as possible through smart ticket pricing. And that is actually not so easy.

"Even in the last Test match in Mumbai, at the Brabourne Stadium (between India and Sri Lanka in 2009), the tickets were moderately priced. And about 5000 free tickets were given to school and college students for the Test match. Given that system had worked well, the MCA managing committee decided to carry that forward."

Similar discounts offered to fans by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for the ongoing Test at Feroz Shah Kotla have been undermined by a complicated sales system. The cheapest daily ticket is priced at Rs 100 while a five-day ticket for the best seat in the ground, in the South Club House at the ITC End, costs Rs 4000. On the first day, though, the ticket office at the Kotla was closed without explanation and only 11,000 fans were in a stadium that has a capacity of about 45,000.

Things appeared more confusing at the Kotla on Monday, the second day, with chaotic scenes at the point of sale - the branch of a nationalised bank located on a nearby road. Still, an estimated 14,000 fans turned up.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (November 10, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

organize India-Pakistan series and then sit back, relax and watch the show.. Every game will be jam packed ! Most of The people of India eagerly waiting India-pakistan matches.. It's like hot dish ! serves first come first basis..it's always exciting ! so my message to bcci is to Organize India-pakistan series ASAP so they will earn from this losses.

Posted by sreekantesh on (November 9, 2011, 10:53 GMT)

Dear BCCI Officials,

Please organize matched in such a way that the match days contain weekends. It will help to attend the match in the grounds as well as watch them on TV, but have have you seen the match dates for this WI series Kolkata Test starting on MONDAY (yes believe it) & Mumbai on Tuesday. You are making sure to conclude the matches before the weekends. Don't be so over confident. Attendance at the stadiums as well as TV viewership too will drop. In a way you are not keeping cricket lovers interest in view while fixing the itinerary.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 9, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

I think it will be a well attended match because India broke their horrible sequence of losses in Delhi and importantly, Sachin looked well in control of his game in the 2nd innings. By this I mean, there is a chance that he will get that elusive 100th cebtury in Mumbai, his home which is how it should be ideally. So weekdays do not really matter. Let us hope also that it is a wonderful match.The West Indies are no pushovers as we saw in Delhi. In fact good preparation for the Australian tour.

Posted by akashchandran on (November 9, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

Centres like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkutta are having a surfeit of cricket with the IPL also being staged in these venues. The BCCI should think about developing new venues for Test match cricket other than existing Test/ODI/IPL centres nwhere international competitive cricket is not common place and therefore there would be interest in viewing the cricket and cricket stars. e.g.Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode(Kerala), Coimbatore/Madurai/Trichy(Tamilnadu), Bhopal(MP), Panaji(Goa), Mysore/Mangalore(Karnataka), Ranchi(Jharkand), Patna(Bihar) etc.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

Arre geniuses - whats the point of reducing match ticket prices if the test is going to be played on weekdays ONLY. Nov 22 - 26 is Tuesday to Saturday. And we all know that NO test lasts 5 days at the Wankhede. So essentially its going to be played ONLY on weekdays!!! Give away free tickets if you want - there will be no crowd at this test match.

Posted by nikhilchaubal on (November 9, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

The tickets are low as the scheduling done is in the worst possible way. Test Match begins on tuesday and end on saturday..we all know match at wankhede wont last till saturday so basically no weekend and bet on it for an another poor turnout...but for the master and his 100

Posted by Angad11 on (November 8, 2011, 19:55 GMT)

@Winnipeg. Agree with you that we need to make it a fun day. But do you know how much NFL, NFL etc charge per ticket? For NFL, it starts with $100 going to $7500 and you will never be able to get any ticket for the starting price. Aside from that, the food, water, soda they sell there is at skyrocket price, add parking to that. If two people want to go, it would cost at least $500. ITS A TOTAL RIP OFF. But yes the facilities are top notch, but if we are willing to pay even half of that im sure BCCI can give much better facilities. PS - BCCI, pls do not use this as an excuse, just shut up and provide A class facilities in the mecca of cricket.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

It would be a shame if Sachin scores his 100/100 in an empty stadium....

Posted by manish666 on (November 8, 2011, 16:51 GMT)

i went to kotla after taking leave from office...found out tht ticket counter at the venue nt operating...also found a man selling 100 rs. ticket in black at 250..i informed nearest standing DELHI POLICE PERSONAL..

Posted by   on (November 8, 2011, 16:44 GMT)

Great move of reducing prices. Trust Mumbai to again be as electric as it used to be earlier. Prices for previous Test Match north stand ticket was abt 200 a day

For all those who planning to go, the facilities are simply superb now, I am sure ppl who had seen world cup matches or Ind vs Eng ODI will agree.

However the scheduling of the match is simply pathetic. I work from Mon to Sat, hence I wont be able to go for a single day also. plus none of matches in wankede last for 5days

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