Figures of ticket sale over the past week clearly shows the disenchantment of the general public with the Delhi Games 2010, described by organizers as the biggest sporting spectacle in the country in over 20 years. Here’s a sample: on September 18, the total number of sales for the Games was 14,800 for the day. A day before, it had been 10,500 while it had crossed the 12,000 mark on September 16. On September 21, the day when the Village controversy erupted, the sales came down to somewhat around 8,000 tickets. It plummeted to 3,000-odd tickets the next day even as more skeletons kept tumbling out of the organizing committee’s (OC) closet.
Said a senior OC official, ‘‘The impact has been immediate. Before that, we had been congratulating ourselves that ticket sales were picking up, especially after the good publicity that the Games received from various quarters including the soft launch of the Village.’’ Sources said the ticket sales had crossed the 2.5 lakh figure last week, with many buying not only the tickets worth Rs 1,000 the lowest range for the opening ceremony but also the expensive ones, worth Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000. Said the source, ‘‘Around 1,000 tickets each of Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 tickets were sold till the beginning of the week.’’
Sources said ticket sales had not improved much on Thursday, hovering in the 3,000-4,000 figures. Said a senior OC official, ‘‘A damage control exercise needs to be launched to generate more enthusiasm for the Games, otherwise ticket sales will fall far short of the numbers we are offering to sell.’’ The OC hopes to sell 17 lakh tickets for the fortnight-long mega event, with the opening and closing ceremonies expected to generate the most interest. Till date, most ticket sales have been for these two events, with the sporting events not really garnering much sale.
Officials said the OC is hoping that ticket sales will go up now, with the Village controversy being resolved.