In a normal auction, interested parties bid the highest amount to acquire a team, but with the two new franchises set to exist for a period of only two years, the BCCI opted for reverse bidding. They set the base price at Rs 40 crore and said the lowest bidder – the one who will take least share from the central revenue – will win the team. The BCCI went one step further. They said that the bidders could even quote a figure in negative – in which case, the bidder will have to pay that negative amount to BCCI. So not only would the BCCI not lose any revenue, but will stand to gain more money.
Chettinad Cements, Axis Chemicals, RPG Properties, Intex and Sanjeev Goenka-led ‘New Rising’ consortium were the five bidders.
The winning bids
Power utility CESC Ltd chairman Goenka-led New Rising bagged the Pune-based franchise with a negative bid of Rs 16 crore. Intex won the rights for the second team, based out of Rajkot, with a bid of -10 crore. Pune will get to pick players first in the players draft scheduled for December 15.
Intex had made two other bids – worth 10 crore each – for teams based in Kanpur and Vizag. Chettinad, the Chennai-based cement company, had bid Rs 27 crore for Pune. RPG had put in three bids: Rs 20,88 crore for Rajkot, Rs 27 crore for Chennai and Rs 17.88 crore for Pune. Axis Chemicals had bid for three venues: Rs 15 crore for Nagpur and Kanpur, and Rs 10 crore for Pune.
Rs 332 crore day
The BCCI don’t have to pay a single paisa to the new teams from the central management revenue that they normally pay to the franchises. Last year, the revenue from central pool for each team was Rs 65 crore. Over the next two years, the teams are expected to get Rs 70 crore but these two teams have chosen not to take any money out of that central revenue. In addition, they will pay 26 crore annually (16 from New Rising/ Goenka, and 10 from Intex ) to the board to own the teams. So, the board will get around 166 crore annually, and thus, Rs 332 crore over the two years.
Two new centres
It will be a great boost to Pune and Rajkot, traditionally considered smaller cricketing centres, and who only recently were upgraded as Test centres. Pune has already had a IPL team when in 2010, Sahara had bid Rs 1,700 crore for the franchise ‘Pune Warriors’ for a period of 10 years, but it pulled out in 2012 after defaulting on payments. Pune has a modern stadium but the team too couldn’t really spark much attention from the fans. Now, the city gets a second chance at an IPL team, and the new franchise gets a new opportunity to try build loyalty among fans. Rajkot has hosted an occasional ODI game and that’s about it. This IPL exposure is sure to crank up great interest in the city population and one can expect full houses for the games.