« The Dream Trip – USA Cross Country Road Trip | Main | How complicated is your ONLINE life? »

Watching IPL at the stadium this season? Read on

DLF IPL season 5 is creating new records in viewership, ad rates, use of technology, stupendous logistics, and selling IPL goods to name a few. It is very difficult to stay away from this religion if you are in India. In trying to go with the flow, I booked myself for the match between Chennai Super Kings and Pune Warriors India on April 14th 2012. I only had heard & read about horror stories of the traffic and everyone suggested to go three hours before the match started which I did. Here are few things I wish I had known beforehand.

1. Be prepared to be stuck

Even if you plan to go three hours early, there are like-minded people and you will find plenty of people trying to avoid traffic, which in turn doesn't help your cause or their cause. Be mentally prepared that it will take a while to reach, you will see chaos everywhere and most importantly, parking places which don't look like parking places.

2. Go empty handed but with heavy wallet

Because of so called 'security' reasons, you are not allowed to take anything inside including food, water bottles, binoculars, cameras, and laptops. If you did, you would end-up throw them at the security gate or would end-up making a trip back to the car (which could be 1KM away) to stow away your valuable stuff. The good news is everything is available for you to purchase at the ridiculous charges and you WILL end up purchasing lots of stuff. Make sure you carry lots of cash with you.

3. Don't be tempted

On your way to stadium from the parking, you will find lots of hawkers selling flags, T-Shirts, Caps and much more. It is normal to feel tempted and wanting to buy stuff but please DON'T. They charge ridiculous rates, some of the stuff won't be allowed inside and most importantly, all of these stuff is available inside the stadium at free of cost. We bought Pune Warrior Flags from these peddlers only to be told to remove the stick from the flags as it wasn't allowed inside and to learn inside the stadium that they were abundantly available free of cost. Also, realized that what they were selling was the used flags from previous match that people would have thrown out.

4. Be ready for loud noise

The stadium probably has more than 100 heavy-duty speakers and playing songs at the full throttle is a trend. Be prepared for it otherwise, it will get to you very quickly. If you don't like loud music / speakers - you are unlikely to enjoy the rest of the evening.

5. Be prepared to be surprised and have fun

Water was begin given away for free inside the stadium! Right, unheard of, correct? There were bunch of vendors who were giving away Chips and other snack items for FREE! Certainly, not something that I expected but is true. The environment, enthusiasm of people, loud music and excitement gets you on your feet Everyone is in celebration mood and that is contagious. It is ABSOLUTELY enjoyable surrounding.

6. Hats off to technology

When I first looked at the stadium, my first words were 'that's it?'. The technology and camera tricks make you believe that the stadium is so huge but when you see it in reality - it doesn't seem like one. However, the stadium is really nicely built, cameras are very strategically places and the hanging camera, which moves around everywhere in the stadium are just great demonstration of latest technology at work. Also it is very difficult to recognize players especially, if you have always seen them on the TV.

7. Filthiness

You are bound to visit restrooms if you plan to drink so much free water and 'other' drinks you would consume during 6 hours in the stadium. I must say that inspire of charging such a large sum of money for tickets, it almost feels impossible to ensure that restrooms are kept in clean condition knowing that it will be heavily used. It makes you wanna puke at times looking at the conditions of the rest rooms.

8. Journey Through Guilt

By the time match is finished, you would see SO MUCH of trash all around you. I do believe that this is LARGELY also because you won't find trash cans easily available for your to throw stuff. People will just put stuff underneath the seat after they eat, drink and all the flags, inflatables, banners and much more would be everywhere on the floor. On our way outside the stadium, I realized that we would have generated trash, which could fit into 100 garbage trucks. It kind of made me feels sad but don't know alternatives to reduce even if they had put trash bins everywhere. This is a great opportunity for some passionate people on this subject to study and reduces the use or volume by implementing some solar-based compactors, and way to separate recyclables before it is too late.

9. Chaos Theory Does Exists

Usual wisdom suggests to getting out of the stadium as soon as match is over to avoid congestion and before everyone else gets out. We kind of tried something similar only to get stuck in the parking lot for one hour and forty-five minutes. Yes, you read it right. There was absolutely no sanity or rules or traffic law enforcement of any kind. Under these circumstances, everyone thinks that they can get out even if you see 2-inch gap between cars and a result - everyone getting stuck for hours together. This is illustrated by a drawing from Prarthan Baxi and also, a picture that we took. I would strongly suggest to watch all kinds of closing ceremony, chat with your friends, eat if you find something and take your own sweet time to get out of the stadium unless you love getting stuck in the chaos, love honking and seeing how everyone loses their 'common' sense which is not so common. Also, be aware that this could ruin all the fun you had for the entire evening if you happen to run into an accident or fight or shouting match with someone else. Luckily, for us - we are just sitting duck for hours and waiting for our turn to get out which we did after an hour and 45 minutes. Subrata Roy loves the fact that stadium is associated with his name but he gives a damn about 'customer service' and I can bet that he doesn't know this concept either. It makes you feel absolutely trash to think that one wouldn't think of customer convenience knowing that thousands of fans would be stuck with whatever they have (un) planned!


Overall, a great experience but highly doubtful if I would want to repeat again!

References (6)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (5)


I have been to a couple matches before in chennai but did not come across free water or other freebies. I have never been to the stadium by car so I had to walk a few kms to catch an auto. A good thing about the chepauk stadium is that it is pretty close to the MRTS station and you can escape the traffic if you use the train.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFahad Nari

I wish I could say that Pune stadium was situation / surrounded by public transport Fahad. In fact, it is quite opposite. It is outside the city (~25 KM) and there is absolutely no train, no bus and even no autos to go there. The only way to reach the stadium is by your own vehicle. That is another example of people who have power but are ignorant towards environment, public safety, customer service and convenience. Freebies might be new trend or the fact that Pune stadium is new.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaheshbaxi

MB - The businesses and government cater to what psychologists have termed as "conspicuous consumption". They know people will show up despite poor service and infrastructure. It is subtle but these things are status symbols. Hence things turn out "arse-backward". First comes the stadium followed with builders doign their job and then the government doing a half hearted job of building narrow single lane roads for people to get to the stadium!

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMS

You saved my trip to the Pune Stadium.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSachin

I will leave it to you Sachin but my intent was not to discourage going to the stadium but rather go knowing what to expect otherwise frustrations to deal with unexpected could take hot seat as oppose to fun.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaheshbaxi

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>