THE INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE playoff final has seen an unparalleled demand for tickets, with the match selling out within minutes.
With the ISL having been held behind closed doors for the last two seasons, fans have been waiting for a chance to get back to the arenas to support their teams. Their opportunity finally arrived when it was announced that the playoff final match - to be played between Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC - would have fans finally return to the stadium.
With KBFC having their best performance since 2016 finishing 4th in the top division league and beating Jamshedpur in the playoff semi-finals, fans for Kerala have been especially enthusiastic about this important match that can see their club win their very first national level silverware.
Initially 50% of the tickets were put on sale on Bookmyshow, which sold out quickly. Today, after further discussions, the rest of the seats were also made available and they disappeared within minutes.
According to fans who were on the website to buy the tickets, the sale began about 5 minutes before the announced time of 10 am. And by 10:02, in just about 6-7 minutes, all the sections in the stadium were displaying the 'SOLD OUT' sign.
The tickets flew away so fast that several fans did not even realise that the sale had started and ended.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda has an official capacity of 19,000. There are some tickets which have been kept in sponsorship and official quota, but the majority were made available for purchase; and the speed of the sale displays the sheer enthusiasm that this match carries.
We have seen tickets being sold out in hours in Indian football before. Especially the Kolkata Derby matches between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have seen fast sales, but those matches were never officially declared as 'sold out' this fast partly because a large chunk of the tickets were sold offline through the clubs' outlets.
Another case of flash sale happened when the FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-final match between Brazil and England was moved from Guwahati to Kolkata. More than 63,000 tickets were sold online within an hour.
While the relatively lower capacity of the Fatorda stadium played a role in how fast the tickets sold out, but the ISL playoff final of 2021-22 season still stakes a legitimate claim to be regarded as the fastest ticket sale for a domestic match in Indian football history.