Clubs may lose discount on match tickets from Mumbai Cricket Association

Mar 21, 2013, 00:43 IST | Harit N Joshi

Tomorrow's 79th Annual General Meeting of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is set to have its fair share of debates.

One of the issues that will be put up for general body’s consent is the removal of the waiver that MCA affiliated clubs get on tickets for international matches. It is learnt that the association is keen to discontinue the age-old practice of offering tickets to clubs at discounted rates. 

MCA’s joint secretary Nitin Dalal

“If this resolution is passed, then clubs will have to purchase the tickets at the same price as the general public does. There will be no discount on the net price,” MCA’s joint secretary Nitin Dalal told MiD DAY yesterday.

Dalal explained the reason for this suggestion. “We print a certain number of tickets for every match, but many a times it happens that clubs do not show any interest in purchasing them. But since we have already printed the tickets, we are forced to pay entertainment tax to the state government on them. This results in the association losing revenue,” said Dalal.

Tickets for international matches are one of the major sources of income for clubs, who make a decent profit by first purchasing the tickets from the MCA at almost half its printed price and then selling the same at the printed pricing. Consequently several clubs have approached MCA president Ravi Savant opposing the idea. Incidentally, it is Savant, who proposed the idea in the first place.

Back-up plan
Dalal however said MCA have a back-up plan in place, in case their suggestion is shot down. “In case this resolution is not passed, the association has another plan wherein clubs will be compelled to buy a certain number of tickets, irrespective of whether they are keen to do so or not. There is always a good response for T20s and ODIs, but very few clubs apply for tickets during Tests.

It’s this uncertainty that the association is keen to eliminate,” explained Dalal.  Meanwhile, MCA has received another resolution from a few members calling for catering costs during international matches to be brought down. A source claimed that the MCA sold tickets to the tune of around R 1.20 crore during the India-England Test at the Wankhede Stadium late last year, and ironically ended up paying an equal sum towards the cost of food provided to guests, members, media persons, etc during the match leaving them with hardly any profit.

MCA joint secretary Dr PV Shetty admitted there was an issue with catering during matches. “Yes we have received a resolution to discontinue the catering service that is extended to the members. The facility tends to be misused as many members do not turn up for matches and others end up enjoying the benefits. We plan to issue photo identity cards to members from now on. They will be served food only if they possess this identity card,”
said Shetty.  

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