During this period, several restaurants, cafes and pubs in the city that are running packed all week – especially during CSK matches – as fans seek to enjoy the games with some semblance of an outdoor experience, rather than watch it at home.
With a number of offers on food and drinks throughout the day, several outlets such as BOATS, Sera – the Tapas Bar, and many more in the city are going all out to attract customers – and ensure the screenings make up for the Chepauk cancellations. With all the severe restrictions imposed during the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, many fans are actually looking forward to catching the rest of CSK’s season on screens.
“All the resto-bars are in competition to fill their seats every day. So for as little as Rs 2,000, a couple can watch the game happily with unlimited beer and a terrific meal. That’s how affordable an IPL viewing experience is in Chennai. Every win is followed with free shots and the like, and the DJs ensure the music keeps the vibe high on energy,” says DJ Karty, who plays at several pubs around the city.
Another way to watch games is at screenings in ECR, where large screens in open venues or beach houses using high-end projectors, offer a fun experience for youngsters.
“I went to the first match, and was one of the many women who got harassed and even groped at one point by the unruly mob trying to prevent us from entering. Why should we go through this to just support our team? My friends and I are now going to watch the remaining matches at a sea-side venue that offers complete security,” said Radhika Menon, a consultant in the city.
Also, number of theaters in town have applied to screen IPL matches in the wake of the ongoing film industry strike. However, the government, Star India network as well as the DSPs all have to agree to give Tamil Nadu theatres this authority – since theatres in other states are not in the same predicament.
“It’s tough to get permission,” said Hariharan, manager of Udhayam Cinemas in Ashok Nagar. He added, “The original idea was to screen movies in the mornings and afternoons, and the IPL matches in the evenings and nights. The cost of the ticket would be roughly the same of a movie. It will help us to increase revenue, but it remains to be seen if it will be possible.”