There are many who think IPL is far too commercial and I have even heard comments that it is more about money than sports. Those are debates which will keep on being discussed but I went to see an IPL match in Mumbai Stadium recently and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the experience is for someone spending a lot of money to view a game from the stands.
Last time I visited a Test match I had a pretty rough time and spectator comfort was something I was pretty sure the organizers had never even considered. Worse part was I felt like a fool who went to watch a Test match in a near empty stadium.
#1. Buying Tickets
For buying tickets to a Test match you have to go through a great deal of trouble. Most times you have to know someone inside the Cricket Association to get decent seats or take a chance and by tickets. Compare the IPL scenario. Almost a month before the tournament started they put out advertisements and took the help of the internet to make booking tickets extremely accessible.
#2. Food and Beverage facilities
Food and beverages were readily available during an IPL match whereas during Test matches it if very difficult to manage to get decent drinking water. With a ban on carrying water inside the stadium watching a Test match for 6 hours without even water being available at times can be too much for a spectator.
#3. Public Announcements and Interactions
There were many public announcement and a lot of interaction by the security guards and ushers which made things very good for people especially older people. IPL organizers had music being played between overs and also during the breaks. Ofcourse it is fancy to criticize the use of cheerleaders during IPL matches but fact not many cover that interaction of the organizers with the crowd is at a great level.
#4. Selective Venues
IPL matches are played at selective venues only which allows the stadiums to spruce up without worrying if they will host another match. This would be the same if a venue like Brabourne in Mumbai and Kolkatta’s Eden Gardens were assured of a Test match every year. This would allow the local state association to plan for better facilities.
IPL matches are given importance by various board dignitaries and officials. But when have we see the top honchos of the Board watch a full Test match or watch atleast a full day. If the board give’s a Test Match importance it will automatically take care of the four points I have written above.
So do you agree with me or not? Do let me know by dropping in your comments.