It'll cost a bomb to watch IPL tie in city

Bangalore:- Excited about catching the action live in the third edition of the Indian Premier League? Enough to get yourself, friends and family to the stadium to take in everything, both cricketing and other entertainment? Steel yourself to shell out a lot, especially if you want to watch it in style.

Ticket prices at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Royal Challenger Bangalore's home venue, have hit the roof, in some cases nearly five times compared to IPL-1. They start at a lowly Rs 220 per match for a seat on the floor, but rise steeply to Rs 1,92,500 for a season ticket for the all-inclusive 'J' stand which consists of air-conditioned boxes with 20-25 seats per box.

These box seats, with five-star catering and top-of-the-line beverages, are on the top tier of the pavilion but the prime ones are a couple of floors below, on either side of the players' dressing rooms. So exclusive are the Diamond Box and P2 areas that they're not even on sale for the public. Here, you'll find the Shah Rukh Khans and Preity Zintas rubbing shoulders with the king of good times, Vijay Mallya himself, the host to all the seven games in Bangalore, which this season includes two semifinals too. Be warned that the above price doesn't include the semis, the prices for which will be decided later by the IPL authorities.

For those who believe Rs 27,500 for a match (J stand daily price) is a bit too much, there are cheaper options. At less than half that price, fans can get a bit of the indoors and the outdoors in the P4 stand, an area that was till recently for KSCA pass holders. A private sports firm showed them the money path during the India-Australia Test in 2004 and ever since this stand has become a money-spinner. An attached private lounge makes for a great hospitality area. The price? Rs 66,000 per season ticket.

There are other stands with better views but since they lack proper hospitality areas (they have more seats), ticket prices (Rs 16,500 for the Terrace and Rs 9,900 for the N stand opposite the pavilion) include food only with other services on sale. Should a game be sold out, RCB bosses can hope to rake in upwards of Rs 4 crore. For seven games, that's Rs 28 crore on ticket sales alone.

Compare this with ODI. When KSCA hosted an India-South Africa one-dayer in 2005, it made around Rs 3 crore from ticket sales for a 7-hour game. A T20 game is a three-hour affair. But there is a rider here. An ODI has always got sold out in most Indian venues, whereas for IPL games, as an insider confirms with some authority, most tickets eventually go the complimentary way, especially the big-ticket ones.

"How would you feel if you were given a ticket worth Rs 27,500 free as against one worth Rs 5,000 or so. Top of the moon, isn't it?" explained the worthy.

Welcome to IPL-3.