The crowd outside the M. Chinnnaswamy Stadium started swelling several hours before the start of Tuesday’s crucial match between homeboys Royal Challengers Bangalore and King’s XI Punjab. One of the most awaited match of the season, this was the penultimate game for RCB before the playoffs.
Such was the anticipation and frenzy that tickets were sold out three days before the match. But that did not deter fans from scouring the perimeter of the stadium looking for tickets in the black market.
And indeed they were to be had. Tickets officially priced at Rs. 385 were going for as much as Rs. 2,000. And there were plenty of takers too: fans mobbed anyone who announced the sale of a black ticket.
Police officials attempted to keep a check but many sellers escaped their watch.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the scalpers said that he had prudently bought five tickets for Rs. 400 each with the sole intention of selling them at a much higher price to desperate fans.
He claimed that he had sold four of them tickets at Rs. 1,200 a piece.
Even though there was tight security starting right from M.G. Road, the crowd soon outgrew the pavements and started spilling onto the roads, blocking traffic. Traffic crawled on this arterial road and in front of the stadium for as long as the match lasted. There was a bottleneck at the crossing and also in front of the stadium.
Hours before the match started, diehard fans chanted slogans, painted their faces in red and gold and snapped up RCB shirts and flags outside the stadium.