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Low spectator turnout disappoints CWG organisers


Smriti Advani,CNN-IBN
Oct 06, 2010 at 08:05am IST

New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games are on, but the people of Delhi are hardly coming out to watch the matches. Even as India began its winning spree on Monday, organisers are disappointed with the low spectator turnout so far.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell has expressed concern on the low turnout of spectators in the stadiums. “There is one area which causes us some concern and we have discussed it with the organisers and they are reviewing that. It's that a number of venues didn't have enough spectators,” he said.

Fennell has urged the organisers to ensure that there are more spectators to cheer the sports persons.

Even though people were seen across the city buying tickets, the spectator turn-out was dismal for the matches.

Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, said about 600,000 of the 1.5 million tickets available for the 12 days of the games had been sold and the organizers were considering letting the school children come in and watch the events in an effort to fill up the stadiums.

Fennell said the games needed to reach out to as many people as possible.

Hence, to curb this problem, from Tuesday, the organizers have started the sale of tickets from the venues itself.

But perhaps this should have happened much earlier. Those who'd witnessed the Melbourne Games, were surprised that tickets are still so easily available.

Miscommunication between organisers and those selling tickets led to further confusion. A group of 50 people, came all the way from Kolkata to watch the hockey matches but were unable to enter due to a mix up in the session timings mentioned in the brochure. The members of the organising committee had completely forgotten to mention them about the change of the timing.

Fennell said the Games had got off to a nice start after being affected with a series of problems in the run up to the event, but reserved the final verdict until the end of the event.

The opening ceremony may have signalled a smooth start for the Games, but it’s already encountered the first bump. However, with more days of sporting action in store, it can only be hoped that the organisers rake in more viewers and make the event the grand success they promised.

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