With the DLF Indian Premier League ready to kick off on Friday, serious cash flows have started for the high profile team owners.
Vijay Mallya, whose team Royal Challengers will take on Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural match in Bangalore, has already got busy counting the cash.
He has sold all the 41,000-plus tickets for the match and, according to industry estimates, has made over Rs 2 crore in the bargain.
Insiders say that Mallya will be able to rake in over Rs 12-14 crore from ticket sales of the seven matches his team plays in Bangalore. He has also roped in two co- sponsors for his team, Reebok and Louis Phillipie, for Rs 12-14 crore.
All told, the eight teams are expected to make over Rs 250 crore on ticket sales and co-sponsor deals. This is much higher than what the team owners had initially thought they would make. Shah Rukh's team, for instance, has roped in four sponsors -- T-series (for music), Tag Heuer, Belmonte and HDIL.
Still, each could end up with a loss of Rs 25 crore on an average. Profits, they all are hopeful, will come from the next season.
Says Vijay Rekhi, president, UB Group: "We have sold out for the first match and the remaining six home matches are also receiving a good response. Of course, it is a profitable business and we should break even next year."
To give the spectators their money's worth, Rekhi said, there will be stilt performers, cheer leaders and a live performance by the musical trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy at the match.
Half the tickets for the second match on April 19 between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Superkings at Mohali (capacity: 30,000) have been sold.
The third match, also on April 19, between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals too is seeing brisk sales. Tickets for the next two matches on April 20 are also almost sold-out.