IPL Expansion: Pune and Kochi Pay Indian Premier League $700 Mil
Pune and Kochi Will Be Getting New Indian Premier League Teams in 2011. Ownership Groups Paid $700 Million For IPL Expansion Teams. Is That Too Much?
The Indian Premier League will be expanding from eight to 10 teams. Two ownership groups have paid $700 million for the right to buy two franchises. To many, the staggering cost of the IPL expansion shows just how far the league has come in developing a strong fan base in India.
Sahara Adventure Sports Group, sponsor of India's national team, bid $370 million for a franchise in the city of Pune. Rendezvous Sports World paid $333 million for an expansion team in Kochi. Both IPL expansion teams will start competing in 2011.
The IPL originally started bidding for expansion teams at $225 million, a number that many cricket observers thought was much too high. Still, the winning bids greatly exceeded the league's expectations. The cost of the new Pune and Kochi teams is greater than the amount paid of all other eight teams put together.
The IPL expansion proves the continued popularity of Twenty20 cricket, a modern, fast-paced style of cricket that seems to have caught on with the Indian public.
Of course, it is possible that the new owners overpaid for their Twenty20 teams. The history of sports is filled with rich men who overpaid for a sports property out of vanity. It is possible that they IPL expansion teams got caught up in the hype and forgot some of the business acumen that made them rich in the first place.
The only question is whether amidst the razzle-dazzle and glamor the IPL is generating the bandwagon is getting ahead of itself.