CHENNAI: With three stands (G, H, I) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, each with a capacity of 4,000 seats, perforce remaining unoccupied for want of building approval from the Chennai Corporation, there is talk of two marquee IPL matches — qualifier 2 (on May 25) and the final (on May 27) — being shifted out of the city to ensure a full house. The BCCI, however, denies such a move.
While IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla says that “there is no such plan” and TNCA secretary Kashi Vishwanathan has “no information” on a change of venue, the BCCI reportedly stands to lose Rs 2 crore per match if the Chepauk stadium stands remain unoccupied and is under pressure from TV rights-holders to resolve the issue, giving rise to speculation about an alternative host for the matches.
Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and Bangalore are said to be the contenders.
Shifting matches is, of course, not a simple process. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), continuing to find sanction for the galleries — sealed in October last year — elusive, is believed to have approached the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for approval.