Wednesday, September 1, 2010

After Poor Games Show Now Tourists have no Interest in CWG

It’s not just the Queen of England uninterested in coming to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. Ticket sales by the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGA) show that even spectators from Commonwealth countries are not buying tickets for the Delhi Games 2010. As per sales figures, only 16,000 tickets have been sold so far by the 70 CGAs in-charge of selling the tickets in their respective countries. Interestingly, the Jamaican CGA, headed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Michael Fennell, has not been able to sell a single ticket till date.

As per an agreement with the CGF, the organizing committee (OC) of the Delhi Games 2010 has booked 10 per cent of the total ticket allocation for the CGAs, making around 1.7 lakh tickets available to them. Of these, 78,000 are for the spectators. However, only 16,000 tickets, worth around Rs 4 crore, have been sold till now by the CGAs, say sources. What makes the sales figures even more alarming are the fact that CGAs have time till September 5 to sell these tickets, after which, they would revert to the OC. However, with sales being so slow, sources admitted that the chances of more tickets being sold in Commonwealth countries are negligible. Said a source, ‘‘The feedback has been extremely dismal. Till now, at least 50% of the tickets should have been sold.’’

The reasons for the slow sales are varied, said OC sources. From the negative buzz surrounding the Delhi Games 2010 to the lack of appeal of India as a sporting destination, all have been trotted forward to explain the phenomenon of no foreign sales. Officials say while India may have an attraction as an exotic destination, the concept of Delhi as a sports haven hasn’t exactly caught on abroad. The fact that many of these Commonwealth countries also have a small population has also been suggested as a reason. Said an official, ‘‘Some of these countries have a really small population, so expecting a large spectator turnout from these countries is not realistic.’’

Thankfully for the OC, ticket sales in the country have picked up meanwhile. Sources said 79,000 tickets have been sold maximum for the ceremonies. While the opening ceremony has sold over 10,000 tickets, the number is slightly over 5,000 for the closing ceremony. Interestingly, around 117 tickets costing Rs 50,000 each have been sold till now, while 203 tickets of Rs 25,000 each have been taken off the shelf.

As per agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation, 10% of the tickets have to be given to CWG Associations for sale in Commonwealth countries With the organizing committee (OC) planning to sell 17 lakh tickets, around 1.7 lakh tickets were given to CGAs After deducting sponsors and other tickets for distribution by CGAs, 78,000 tickets for spectators to be sold by CGAs Ticket sales by CGAs till date 16,000 Total sales in India (till Sunday) 78,900 Opening ceremony 10,350 Closing ceremony 5,750 Rs 50,000 (category A) tickets sold 117 Rs 25,000 (category B) tickets sold 203 Rs 5,000 (category C) tickets sold 3,500 Rs 1,000 (category D) tickets sold 5,900 Most tickets sold for hockey 16,000 Least tickets sold for lawn bowl 555