Hyderabad: The non-availability of e-tickets for the Indian Premier League (IPL) final, to be played on May 12 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, could be opening the doors to black-marketers.
On Tuesday, Deccan Chronicle had reported that online tickets had been sold out within two minutes of going on sale.
The authorised sales agent is EventsNow, a city-based private booking company.
Subsequent investigation has revealed more. An independent analysis revealed that when the official IPL site https://www.iplt20.com/news/188324/tickets-for-vivo-ipl-2019-final-up-for-sale is clicked on for buying a ticket, it redirects one to https://www.eventsnow.com/events/12021-ipl-2019-final, the website of EventsNow.
On Tuesday, as soon as the online sale of tickets was announced, all denominations of tickets, i.e. Rs 1,500, Rs 2,000, Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000, which in general the common man prefers to purchase, were declared sold out.
An insider told this newspaper, “It was a well-planned strategy. By showing all tickets sold out on the online platform, there is a high possibility of offline sales leading to black-marketing. This apart, the stadium capacity is around 39,000 seats, and tickets for 10 per cent of this are given to the state body for its members. The BCCI may keep 10,000 tickets, but the rest, which is over 25,000, will be up for sale. Earlier, IPL ticket pricing would begin from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 22,000. However, the per-ticket cost has been hiked for the 2019 final.”
The source added that there are 70 VIP boxes, with 20 seats in each enclosure priced at `22,000 each. If the boxes are fully booked, the BCCI earns revenue of `4 lakh. But VIP box tickets are allegedly quoted at much higher prices. The state body, the Hyderabad Cricket Association, for an international match earns `2.2 crore by renting out 39,000 seats but in this 2019 IPL, the revenue generated from the boxes alone will be in crores, while the whole revenue generated out of tickets may go up to `25 crore.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) controls the IPL operations including its revenues for the final.
However, the job of leasing out or allotting the contract of online ticket sales to a private booking company, EventsNow in this case, is done by the State Cricket Association.
The BCCI will control the revenue, that is, the original ticket cost, but the extra charged on a ticket will be pocketed by the booking company.
For example, if the price of a ticket is Rs 10,000 and it is sold for Rs 12,000, the BCCI will get the original ticket price of Rs 10,000, but the private firm will pocket Rs 2,000 on each of those tickets. In all IPL matches, the revenue goes to the franchise but in case of Finals, it is the BCCI that collects the revenue. The source further added that offline sales could lead to black marketing.
One will soon find touts advertising tickets on social media platforms.
Even in the recently held One Day International India-Australia match in Hyderabad, the contract was allotted to EventsNow and the online sales shut two hours after it was announced, the source said.
Insiders in the HCA say that a major chunk of tickets for the seven games that have been played at the RGICS have been usurped by the police and bureaucrats. Some put down the number at 4,000.
It is interesting to note that the venue of the IPL final was shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association failed to get three stands opened, with about 12,000 seats not available. However, a huge number of non-availability of tickets will be more disappointing....