IPL could give S African economy two bn rand boost: Modi

April 17th, 2009 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, April 16 (IANS) The five-week long Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket series that kicks off here Saturday could give the South African economy a cash injection of up to two billion rands, according to IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi.

Speaking at a press conference here, Modi said he anticipated that the tournament will see between 1.5 bn rands and 2 bn rands spent, with 40,000 hotel rooms already booked in the eight host cities.

“In terms of Indian supporters wanting to come to South Africa, we hear reports of many fans being wait-listed. While we have confirmed 4,000 supporters, we are working with our partner airlines to arrange more international flights.

“We also expect more interest as the competition reaches its climax,” said Modi.

This is good news for South Africa, where economists have expressed concern about the impact of the global economic downturn finally hitting home.

“One of the sentiments expressed by team owners was that entertainment and sports won’t go out of style, even in a recession,” Modi said.

With tickets at some venues selling for as little as 10 rands for children - cheaper than even local games - Modi also confirmed that close to 90 percent of all tickets had already been sold at the eight venues, with the ticket prices aimed at filling stadiums.

With such a large economic benefit for the country, South Africa has pulled out all the stops to assist the IPL.

Modi said he had been “truly amazed” by the ‘can-do’ attitude shown by all South Africans. “This includes the Department of Home Affairs who internationally have issued visas within 24 hours to players and support staff.

“What was an obstacle was solved in a matter of minutes. I have not experienced this anywhere else before, and this includes Cricket South Africa, and many other government departments. We have been welcomed with open arms.”

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |