A long queue outside the astroturf stadium in Morabadi, Ranchi, on Tuesday for advance purchase of semi-final and final tickets of Hockey India League. Picture by Hardeep Singh
If you are reading this after 10am, you’ve perhaps lost a golden chance to see a high-octane battle with low-end tickets.
To draw more enthusiasts to the iconic astroturf stadium in Morabadi, Ranchi, for the semi-final and final matches of Hockey India League (HIL) this weekend, organisers in New Delhi on Monday decided to slash ticket prices to suit every pocket. The bad news is that more than 90 per cent tickets were sold by Tuesday afternoon alone.
Against the erstwhile rates of Rs 60, Rs 90, Rs 120, Rs 180 and Rs 1,200, besides special passes for Rs 2,000, the two big days will allow entry at Rs 60, Rs 100 and Rs 150.
For semi-finals, the North, East and South Stand tickets cost Rs 60, while the West Stand (upper pavilion) tickets are available at Rs 100. For the final, which is scheduled on February 10, tickets have been priced at Rs 150 (West Stand-upper pavilion) and Rs 100 (North, East and South stands).
“We began selling tickets around 1pm today and by 4pm, more than 90 per cent tickets had been sold. If I am correct, around 500-600 tickets are left for the semi-finals and around 1,000 are the big day,” said Jharkhand Hockey Association official Suresh Singh, who is also Hockey India representative for the tournament in the state capital.
Singh said the stadium had a capacity of 5,000 and would go houseful on February 9 and 10. “Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will open the ticket counter at Gate No. 2 at 10am,” he said.
Tickets, if available, can also be purchased at www.ticketgenie.in, which is HIL’s online partner for the semi-finals and final.
“It is great news that ticket prices have been slashed. I didn’t know it until I came here. A great match at budget price is simply wow!” beamed Rahul Kumar, a lucky student whose long wait in the queue on Tuesday was aptly rewarded.
According to information, the final day will witness a lot of glitz and glamour on the field. Leading the Bollywood brigade will be the Khiladi of all times Akshay Kumar, while celebrity presenter Mandira Bedi will once again play emcee.
According to Bunty Singh, the CEO of Ranchi Rhinos, ticket business was being taken over by Hockey India for the big days.
“Till the league matches, franchisees had the power to decide ticket prices. Now, Hockey India is the boss. Everyone respects the decision (to slash prices). The crowd in Ranchi has anyway shown complete loyalty to the game by turning out in large numbers even when the prices were high. The Rhinos are charged up too. They will do their best to clinch the title,” Singh said.
With Ranchi Rhinos second on the points table with 36, they have almost cemented their position in the semi-final despite a debacle against the indisputable Delhi Waveriders on February 1.
With 44 points, the Delhi team is on the top of the table, while Jaypee Punjab Warriors is third with 28 points, UP Wizards fourth with 22 and Mumbai Magicians at the bottom with 14 points.
Have you grabbed your ticket for the hockey big days yet?