Home Sports Lukewarm spectator response worries CWG president

Lukewarm spectator response worries CWG president


New Delhi : Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell said Tuesday he was worried about empty stands at the venues despite a grand inaugural of the event two days ago.

“We had a spectacular opening ceremony and considered it quite successful. People were very happy with it. Yesterday we had the first day of competition and all scheduled events were held. Three Commonwealth records were broken in swimming and one in weightlifting,” Fennell said here.

“However, one area that is of major concern is that there were not many spectators at the venues yesterday. We are working with the Organising Committee members to find a solution on how to fill the venues. Both athletes and the organisers want the seats to be filled on all days,” he said at the Main Press Centre.

Fennell praised the broadcast quality of the event.

“Broadcast quality of the Games is very good. Yes, due to time difference, in different countries, it got delayed but overall it was very good. There are some issues and we are working to address them and everything will be in place soon,” he said.

Showing confidence in India’s abilities to successfully host the Games, Fennell said: “It is on record that I had never doubted India’s preparations. It was a correct decision (to give the Games to India) and we always wanted to come to India. We are very happy with the start.”

Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the CWG Organising Committee, said: “We had a huge rush during the opening ceremony. There were some problems yesterday but they have been sorted out. Now ticket box offices have been opened in all sports venues. Yesterday we had long queues for tickets.”

“We are disseminating information about the availability of tickets among people in a big way. We are very sure that from today we would have heavy rush of spectators.

“We are also bringing school children and youngsters from poor families to the venues so that they can watch the sporting action. So far we have sold around six lakh tickets,” said Kalmadi.

Kalmadi said now the Games Village and all sports venues were almost trouble-free and the organisers were meeting every morning with the chef de missions to know if they had any problems.

“Earlier there was some problems with transportation, which have been solved. We have found that there is some catering related problem and it will be sorted out today. We hope everything will be in smooth flow from tomorrow,” Kalmadi said.