New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) With just 18 days left for the Commonwealth Games, the sale of tickets is finally picking up with hockey being the top grosser. More than 60,000 tickets have been sold till date for the hockey tournament that will be played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Oct 4-14.
The sale of tickets has generated Rs.120 million so far and the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) is targeting Rs.1 billion from ticket sales.
For the second time in the year, after the World Cup in February-March, hockey lovers will again see teams like world champions Australia, European winners England and arch-rivals India and Pakistan in action.
‘Hockey is a popular sport in India and that is why it is seeing such high ticket sales. We are sure that sales will further improve by the time the Games begin,’ CGOC’s ticketing director, Monika Jolly, told IANS.
The National Stadium has 14,700 seats for ticket holders and a temporary stand, which can accommodate 750 spectators, has been built on the second pitch that will host some women’s matches on a couple of days during the tournament.
The other sports which are proving to be popular amongst the spectators are athletics, swimming and gymnastics. Even tickets for a less popular sport like archery are seeing good sales.
There are however not many takers for a sport like Lawn Bowls, which is not a popular sport in India.
‘Lawn bowls is a popular sport in countries like England and Australia, but not in India. We are hoping the sales will improve with the help of foreign tourists,’ said Jolly.
CGOC plans to sell 17 lakh ticket, but it didn’t reveal the number of tickets available in each sport.
The tickets are priced in the range of Rs.50 to Rs.1,000. The tickets for the grand opening ceremony range from Rs.1,000 to Rs.50,000 while those for the closing ceremony are from Rs.750 to Rs.1000.
The Rs.1,000 tickets for the opening ceremony are already sold out while tickets worth Rs.5,000, Rs.25,000 and Rs.50,000 are still up for grabs.
Four events — the marathon, the walk, cycling, and road race time-trial – will be free for the fans.
The sale of online tickets started in June and the tickets from counters were made available last month after several missed deadlines.
The tickets are being sold through 30 Central Bank of India and Hero Honda outlets across the city.