Indian Premier League's UAE Leg Draws Estimated Total Of 250,000 People
More than 250,000 people are "estimated to have attended the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League," which places it among the "best-attended sports events in the country," according to Osman Samiuddin of THE NATIONAL. Nineteen of the 20 games played "across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah over two weeks were official sell-outs." Though official figures are "yet to be released by the league," one UAE cricket official said it was estimated that between "280,000 and 300,000" fans attended the 20 games, which "would translate to an average of about 14,000-15,000 a game for each venue." Officials said that 82% of tickets "were paid for," compared to 56% when games were held in South Africa in '09. Those attendance figures were "complemented by growing viewing figures elsewhere." Board of Control for Cricket in India Interim President Sunil Gavaskar said, "The [TV] viewership for the opening match was bigger than in 2013 -- 4.4 versus 4.1 ratings. When compared to the first seven days of last season, the online viewership has doubled -- 12 million compared to 6 million." Not "least of the benefits to the local scene would be financial." An official confirmed that "each of the three venues were paid a hosting fee by the IPL per game." For a single game matchday, the venue received $75,000 from the IPL and $100,000 "for the days when the venue staged a double-header" (THE NATIONAL, 5/3).