With the Supreme Court’s interim ruling in place, cost cutting and subsidising seems to be the flavour of the season for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Board is subsidising the IPL franchises for the matches of the seventh season of the tournament to be played in the UAE and Sharjah.
Sources indicate that the BCCI is ready to bear a part of the hotel and stadium expense this year. Franchises, which are already facing the heat of the venue shift, will get some respite from these measures.
Almost 40 per cent of the revenue of the franchises comes from stadium ticket sales. This revenue is set to a take a hit this year as the venue moves to the UAE. Phase 1 is, therefore, to be subsidised by the Board. Franchises were initially reluctant to shift the tournament outside India, but due to the General Elections adequate security could not be arranged for the tournament. Therefore, the first phase, which will last till April 30, will be played outside India.
Apart from this, the opening ceremony budget this year has been brought down from Rs 25 crore to Rs 10 crore. This, according to people connected with the development, is to cut down the glitz and glamour factor and keep the ceremony low profile. Another angle is that the BCCI would also lose money due to the venue shift outside India, and coupled with the subsidisation it is granting to the franchises, the trimming of the budget would help them tide over as far as the expenses are concerned.