The wicket side of IPL: through-the-roof ticket prices

IANS
May 29, 2008 at 03:38pm IST

Mumbai: The Mumbai Indians team may have been knocked out of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but the franchisee Reliance Industries are all set to cash in on the craze for cricket's latest incarnation by hiking ticket prices up to 20 times for some stands.

Prices have been hiked from two to 20 times—depending on the stand—for the semi-finals at Wankhede Stadium and the final at the newly built D Y Patil Stadium.

A seat in the air conditioned box will cost as much as Rs 25,000 at the Wankhede for the semis, and it will go up to Rs 35,000 for the final at D Y Patil Stadium.

ENDGAME: The semi-finals and final of the month-long IPL tournament will be in Mumbai.

The steepest hike has been in the Vijay Merchant Stand Upper deck at the Wankhede where a ticket, which was going for Rs 500 till the last match, has now been priced at Rs 10,000, a 20-fold hike.

The Merchant Lower stands have seen the lowest hike from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000. The only stand left untouched has been the East Stand Lower tier, where a seat still costs Rs 250.

The Garware Clubhouse tickets have gone up from Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000, while AC box seats have gone up from Rs 12,000 to Rs 25,000. A Divecha stand ticket price has gone up from Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000, the Gavaskar stand from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 and the North Stand from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.

At the D Y Patil Stadium, which will host the final, the price of an AC box seat has gone up from Rs 12,000 to Rs 35,000 and the first tier seats are now Rs 3,000 as against the old price of Rs 1,000. The second tier seats have gone up from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 and the third tier from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000.

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Mumbai Indians got the right to host the semis and the final and also have the marketing rights for the last stages because they were the highest bidders in the team auction.

This has also led to a problem with Mumbai Cricket Association, which is entitled to 20 percent of the tickets. While the IPL and the franchisee have given that for the semi-finals, they have given just 2,000 tickets for the final.

While the public at large may not buy the tickets at these exorbitant prices, what Mumbai are banking on is the demand from the other franchisees, whose teams have reached the semi-finals.

It is learnt that each of the four semi-finalists - Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI and Chennai Super Kings - have themselves picked up many of the high-priced tickets.

"We need tickets in various stands and boxes, and the quotas allotted to us are too small. So we are forced to buy even if they are at such a high cost," said one of the franchisee officials, who admitted to having picked up over 2,000 tickets, many of them in the high-priced zone.

"What is even more ironic is that almost all other stadia which are hosting matches offer a better view at a cheaper price," he added.

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