Mistakes in the ticket pricing policy for Pakistan’s home series against the World XI have led to lower-than-expected crowd turnouts at the Gaddafi Stadium in the highest-profile series held in Pakistan since 2009.
Though Gaddafi Stadium has been anywhere between 80-90% full in the two T20s so far, attendances have paled in comparison to the turn-outs for the PSL final in March earlier this year, as well as those for the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe two years ago.
A number of fans and quarters within the PCB have expressed frustration at the inordinately high pricing of tickets for the three games. The lowest-priced ticket is PKR 500 (approx. $5), but the jump thereafter is significant, to PKR 2500 (approx. $24), then PKR 4000 (approx $38) , PKR 6000 (approx. $57) and PKR 8000 (approx. $76).
A significant chunk of tickets has had to be handed out as a result including, for Wednesday’s game, to schools. “We made a mistake in setting such high prices,” Najam Sethi, the PCB chairman, admitted.
“We were misled by our experiences of what happened in the PSL when prices were unimportant and people paid the highest prices to come and watch (tickets cost as much as PKR 12000 or, approximately $114). These are three matches and the security is even more than that of PSL. We should’ve kept lower prices. We will learn from this experience and considerably and significantly reduce prices for the future.”
Heavy security has not helped either. Fans have to cross through several security barriers and checkpoints before getting into the stadium. That, Sethi said, however, is necessary.
“Of course the security was so tight, so tight that many people found it difficult to come, or were dissuaded to come. Some people set out but after an hour on the roads, they went back. But there is very little I can do about that. The Punjab government is relentless in providing top security.”