India loves cricket. India is hosting the Cricket World Cup 2023. But why are the stadiums not brimming to the rafters?


Fans tuning in from the UK were astonished to witness empty stands at the behemoth Narendra Modi Stadium for the opening match of the tournament between England and New Zealand.

The arena filled as the game wore on, but what's the story behind empty terraces around the grounds?

Large stadiums

First of all, it's fair to say that the sheer size of these arenas makes for deceptive reading. Though the stands still looked relatively empty at the 132,000-capacity stadium, a confirmed attendance of 47,518 was given for that England v New Zealand clash.

It is unclear whether that was the number of tickets sold, or how many people attended on the day. Either way, 47,000 is 50 per cent higher than the total capacity at Lord's.

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Sold-out India matches

There's also an inevitable bias towards host nation India in terms of ticket sales. It would be an extraordinary achievement to sell out mega stadiums for matches not involving the homegrown heroes.

In fact, every India match of the tournament is sold-out, according to official ticket platforms. Of course, not every spectator will show up for the first ball of the day, but attendances should be based on the final total of spectators in the ground.

Time and weather issues

As mentioned, many people will arrive for matches after work, with many of the games starting in the early afternoon. By the time of the second innings, most fans would be expected to have taken their seats.

There's also the issue of blazing heat. For example, in Ahmedabad, temperatures are soaring up to 36c, putting people off sitting, unsheltered, for the entirety of the matches. Weather conditions are changeable depending on where the match is being held.

Delayed ticket sales

Another potential issue was the fact that tickets didn't go on sale until 25th August, just 41 days prior to the opening match.

Add in the fact that the final schedule for the tournament was not confirmed until the end of June and tournament officials haven't exactly given the world a great deal of time to make necessary arrangements to jet into the subcontinent for the festivities.

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