With empty seats due to lack of official clearance for a few stands becoming an eyesore during IPL matches in Chennai,there is a move within the BCCI to shift the eliminator and the final to an alternate venue to ensure a full house.
While most of the other venues have attracted capacity crowd,Chennai has been an aberration with as many as 12,000 seats going empty because clearance from the city planning department for want of building approval is still awaited.
The three stands — G,H and I — each of them with capacity of 4,000 seats,remained unoccupied since the West Indies-India one-dayer in November last year and the subsequent Champions League Twenty20 tournament as well.
Although no BCCI official is willing to speak openly on this issue,there are murmurs of a move to get the marquee matches (eliminator on May 25 and final on May 27) out of Chennai.
“We have witnessed amazing response at all the venues of this year’s IPL. It will be a pity if the final is played in front of a half-empty stadium. Therefore,the possibility of shifting the matches from Chennai is being explored,” a top BCCI official said.
The new-look galleries were built after demolishing the old stands as part of redevelopment of the four-decade-old Chepauk stadium. But it has been sealed since October last after the Chennai Corporation issued a lock and seal notice citing lack of building approval. The stands were open during the World Cup last year.
Initially,the IPL authorities were told that the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association would get the requisite approvals for the three galleries within the first few games.
“But now we are heading towards the business end of the IPL and there is still no sign of the matter being resolved.
Whatever decision needs to be taken has to be done within a week as a lot of work is required when you shift matches to a new venue,” the official said.