Bengaluru, April 6: For those cricket fans who cannot watch the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 matches live at stadiums across various venues, here is an opportunity to catch the action free of cost.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come up with a new initiative for the 8th edition of the Twenty20 tournament, which starts on Wednesday (April 8).
Some of the cities, which are not hosting IPL matches will have Fan Parks where one can catch the excitement in a "stadium-like experience," according to BCCI.
"As a part of the ongoing initiatives to bring in newer audience through IPL, especially families, BCCI will be investing in Fan Parks across the country this season," BCCI's secretary Anurag Thakur said in a media release.
"In addition to the 12 venues hosting the matches this season, Pepsi IPL 2015 will be taken to 15 cities across India through the Pepsi IPL Fan Park initiative giving the fans living far away from the live action relive the excitement and atmosphere that comes with watching an IPL match with friends and family in a public location.
"Over 10,000 plus fans in each of these cities will have a stadium-like experience on the weekends throughout the tournament as the matches will be made available on giant screens. Entry will be free and on a first-come-first-serve basis. With access to food and beverage stalls and music the fans will be able to feel like they are in the stadium. There will also be special areas earmarked for women and children," he added.
Matches featuring all eight Pepsi IPL franchises will be screened at each venue, thereby enabling the fans to watch and celebrate their favourite teams and players.
Fan Park venues will be opened 2-4 hours before the start of the match in order to give the fans the chance to experience the pre-screening activation.
Venues have been chosen keeping in mind accessibility and connectivity, particularly for families and in close coordination with the broadcast partner Sony Max.
"T20 provides the perfect platform for us to grow the game and taking it to newer venues. During the summer months Fanparks will provide it an ideal outing for families. The Pepsi IPL Fan Park aims to bring the match venues to those who have not been able to watch a cricket match from the stands in a stadium so far. It will enhance the experience of viewing and following the game for thousands of loyal fans.
"We are working closely with all the state associations of BCCI as well as our broadcast partners and sponsors in delivering this. We are creating a scalable model with plans to add more centers in the years to come. I expect fans to turn up in large numbers and enjoy the cricket with their friends and family" said Thakur said.
The exact venue in each city will be informed in few days, said BCCI.
The cities which will have Fan Parks
Agra, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Guntur, Surat, Warangal, Udaipur, Belagavi, Kanpur, Indore, Allahabad and Bhopal. 2 more cities to be confirmed