Team India’s unexpected departure was seen in full force at the Kalinga Stadium supporter park on Tuesday, 48 hours after the champions’ 4-5 shootout loss to New Zealand in the Crossing match on Sunday.
The spectator area, which is loaded with food, entertainment kiosks, and activities for viewers of all ages, was beautifully designed by the tournament’s planners. A couple of the booths also sell sporting goods like hockey sticks and jackets. Sports shops are seeing far less foot traffic than the food vendors, despite the fact that the majority of tickets for India matches have already been sold out, meaning that masses will still visit the arena.
Over the past several days, business at the Shiv Naresh stall, which was hopping over the weekend, has dwindled to a stream. “Over Saturday and Sunday, we sold approximately 500 jerseys for Rs. 900 per piece, but over the past two days, we haven’t even sold 200.” People’s lack of interest in purchasing Indian hockey memorabilia, which is evidently caused by their disappointment with the Indian team’s early-tournament loss, was stated to the media at midday by MK Sharma, manager of the Shiv Naresh stall.
The SNS store, a few booths away, has been offering hockey sticks at a 50% discount. Since Monday, they have also noticed a sharp decline in their customer base. “The decrease in foot traffic from Sunday to Monday-Tuesday was at least 50%.” Indeed, over the weekend, there was such a large market for our products that just after we closed up shop and put our pieces back into the cardboard boxes after 10 o’clock, some customers came in, and we had to open the containers again for them, according to Saket Mahajan, the owner of the SNS brand, which is supported by some Indian players, including forward Lalit Upadhyay and midfielder Nilakanta Sharma.
In order to draw in more buyers, Sharma is now thinking about lowering the cost of the jerseys. “I’ll be contacting the management to ask them to lower the prices.” According to him, the improved business will result from that. But Mahajan provided a practical perspective: “We must support our team during their difficult times too.” “Victory and defeat are parts of sports, just as we make big profits when the Indian team does well.”