Cricket-Sri Lanka slash ticket prices to pull in crowds

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to reduce World Cup tickets prices by more than 50 percent for some matches not featuring the host nation to boost crowd numbers. A near capacity crowd of 35,000 turned up to see the 1996 champions thrash Canada on Sunday in Hambantota but officials expect a near empty arena during Pakistan’s opening World Cup game against Kenya at the same venue on Wednesday.

“The ICC (International Cricket Council) has said that they will be happy if we can get in 10 percent of the spectators who turn up for the key Sri Lanka matches,” Sri Lanka’s World Cup director Suraj Dandeniya said.

“The most challenging task for us is to price the tickets in a manner that we can attract as many spectators as possible to the grounds.

“As a result we have decided to reduce the price of a ticket by around 50 percent. For instance a SLR 2500 ($22.54) will be priced at SLR 1000 ($9.02).”

Pakistan will play all six of their Group A matches in Sri Lanka after the ICC stripped them as co-hosts of the tournament for security reasons.

Dandeniya said the lowest priced tickets will be SLR 30 and SLR 20.

“Our aim is to get as many people to watch the World Cup matches. It is with this intention that we have priced the tickets. We are not looking to make any profits out of the World Cup,” said Dandeniya.

“We are also holding competitions through radio programs to get spectators to the grounds.”

Top priced tickets for Sri Lanka’s much-anticipated matches against Australia and Pakistan will cost SLR 5000.

Sri Lanka are hosting 12 of the 49 matches during the Feb 19-April 2 tournament at three 35,000-seater stadiums in Hambantota, Colombo and Kandy.

Cricket-Website crashes under mad scramble for final tickets

 (Reuters) - The website selling just 1000 tickets for the Cricket World Cup final in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on April 2 crashed seconds after they went on sale on Monday sparking furious complaints from fans.

   Tickets were put on sale at 0730 GMT via the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) official ticketing partner but the website buckled under the pressure of huge traffic.

    Of the 31,000 seats at the Wankhede Stadium, only 4000 are available to the public -- 1000 online while another 3000 will be sold later for those who queue up at stadium box offices.

   The rest are distributed among the ICC and clubs affiliated to the Mumbai Cricket Association.

   An unnamed source at Yahoo said they were being inundated by complaints from hundreds of fans who were unable to log on to the official ticket agency through a link posted on the popular search engine’s website.

   With such a small proportion available to the general public in a cricket-crazy country where the population is more than a billion, it is little wonder that there has been a mad scramble for tickets.

   With the Indian team living up to their favourite tag by walloping Bangladesh in the opening World Cup match, expectations are high of a home-team success come April 2.

   Such is the desperation of fans, even media visiting the city have been under siege for tickets.  

   As soon as hotel staff, taxi drivers, security guards,  corner shop owners and even road sweepers find out media are here to cover the tournament, the first question out of their lips is “Can you please get me a ticket to the final?”

   When Reuters tried to log on to more than an hour after the tickets went on sale, the website was still timing out.

   “It’s the first we’ve heard about it so we can’t comment about it,” an ICC spokesman said after being alerted about the problem by Reuters.

   Earlier on Monday, ICC chief Haroon Lorgat acknowledged there was “an unbelievable demand for tickets which clearly outstrips the available supply.

   “From the outset it was always going to be near impossible to satisfy the enormous demand for tickets,” he said in a statement that was issued only minutes before the tickets went on sale.  

   “But the Central Organising Committee always wanted to provide as many cricket lovers as possible with an opportunity to experience the World Cup. That is why some tickets are now being made available online.”