Opening blues: IBL hit by Rs 25 crore loss

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Hyderabad Hotshots with IBL trophy
Bangalore, Sep 7: The first edition of Indian Badminton League (IBL) was hailed as a huge success by players and officials. But now it has emerged that the league has incurred losses to the tune of Rs 25 crore, according to a report.

The organisers of $ 1 million prize money league, Sporty Solutionz has said they have lost Rs 25 crore in the opening year of the badminton league.

"The total expenditure on the event was Rs 85 crore and we have been able to generate about 65-70% of that as revenues and the rest is loss," Ashish Chadha, the owner of Sporty Solutionz, told "The Economic Times".

IBL was launched with six city-based franchise teams. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, New Delhi, Pune and Mumbai were the teams in the inaugural year. The tournament was held from August 14 to 31 with Saina Nehwal-led Hyderabad Hotshots clinching the title by defeating Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow).

According to the report, a total of Rs 85 crore was invested for the first year. The total revenue earned was Rs 60 crore. Each franchise spent Rs 5 to 8 crores. A total of 1.20 lakh tickets were sold.

Chadha said he is looking at few more sponsors, new franchises and selling 15% equity in the company for next year.

"I am in the process of selling about 10-15% of my equity in the company. Talks are going on with a few investors and will be finalised in the next 10 days," Chadha said.

After winning the tournament, Saina had hoped IBL will catch up with cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL). But that might never happen looking at the first year's response.

"No one expected IBL to be be successful. It is wrong to compare it with the IPL. It is not right at this point of time because IPL is a great thing. We want to try to make IBL big, but for the first time, it is not easy. Hopefully, in coming years, it will catch up with the IPL," Saina had said.

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