Open to Shifting IPL Matches Out of State, Says Fadnavis
DROUGHT & GAMES The Bombay High Court has allowed the inaugural match of the IPL to go on as planned on April 9 as all the arrangements have already been made
New Delhi: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday indicated that he was open to shifting matches out of the state, especially at a time when there is a drought-like situation in many areas of the region.
“Water is more important for us than cricket. So, even if the cricket matches are shifted out of Maharashtra, I don't mind,” he said.
He also ruled out supply of potable water to cricket stadiums in Maharashtra. “Our government has taken a strong position in High Court. We said we will not provide potable water for IPL matches,” he said. The Bombay High Court on Thursday allowed the inaugural match of the IPL to go on as planned on April 9 because arrangements had already been made and the PIL and Nagpur at a time when there was a drought-like situation in many parts of the state. The first match of April 9 is between home team Mumbai Indians and first timers Rising Pune Supergiants which is owned by businessman Sanjiv Goenka.
The petitioner said that 60,000 litres of water was being used per day to maintain the ground and pitch at the three Maharashtra stadiums.
After the opening match on Saturday, the next one being played in Maharashtra is on April 16, in Mumbai.
There are a total of 20 IPL games to be played in Maharashtra in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. If these games have to be shifted out of the state, it would mean monetary loss to Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, which will have to move to a new home city.
Cricketing experts pointed out that many sponsors have tied up with the teams because of the market they operate in, and moving the home ground would create issues for these sponsors. The Mumbai team is also likely to lose the most amount of ticketing revenues as it has the largest number of corporate boxes amongst all IPL stadiums. According to media sources, the team gets about .₹ 2 crore per match from ticket sales, including selling corporate boxes. Even other teams that have to come and play in Maharashtra will suffer as they have already given advances to airlines, hotels and road transport operators in cities they are scheduled to play in. “All of the logistics will have to be reset,” says the CEO of the IPL team, asking not to be named.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the ET Awards event in 2014