Empty seats a real possibility at Chinnaswamy Stadium

February 25th, 2011 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

By V.S.Karnic
Bangalore, Feb 25 (IANS) With just around 7,000 tickets for Karnataka’s cricket fans for Sunday’s India-England tie, the World Cup organisers must be hoping there would not be empty seats at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here.The organisers — the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Karnataka State Cricket Association as the hosts of Sunday’s match — may have many obligations to keep aside a huge number of tickets for others.

They would, however, be hard pressed for an explanation if there are empty rows at the stadium in the city centre.

Particularly so in the face of Thursday’s chaotic scenes at the stadium ending in police caning to control an estimated 30,000 people who had waited for hours for buying tickets.

Going by the reasons provided by the ICC, BCCI and KSCA for the limited number of tickets for public there is a distinct possibility that the sprawling stadium would not be full to its capacity Sunday.

For instance each state cricket association has been given 25 tickets. There is no guarantee that all these seats would be full.

Then, about 10,000 tickets were set apart for fans in Kolkata, where the match was to be held but was shifted to Bangalore as Eden Gardens was not ready.

How many of these tickets have been bought and how many would travel down to Bangalore would be clear only at the stadium.

There is also a quota for English fans - the famed Barmy Army members and others. There is no word till now on the numbers from this quota that would be in the stadium.

Then, there are sundry complimentaries and tickets for sponsors, sought by ICC, BCCI and KSCA itself. Most of these seats might be full as they are at a vantage point in the stadium.

Topping it all is the capacity of the Chinnaswamy Stadium itself.

The KSCA itself does not seem to be sure about the number of people the stadium can accommodate.

“It boasts of a seating capacity of 50,000,” the KSCA website proudly proclaims.

However its new secretary former India pace spearhead Javagal Srinath mentioned after Thursday’s ugly scenes over ticket sales that the stadium can take in around 40,000 people.

The stadium was near full for even the India-Australia warm up match Feb 13.

If the Chinnaswamy Stadium is not full for the high-octane clash Sunday, the organisers would have plenty to answer for.

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