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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday floated a tender document to acquire the right to own and operate one of the two new teams proposed to be introduced in the Indian Premier League (IPL) from 2022. The document is ready to be made available to potential bidders.

The detailed terms and conditions governing the submission and evaluation of bids, including eligibility requirements, process for submissions of bids, and the rights and obligations of the proposed new teams are contained in the Invitation to Tender (ITT), which will be made available on the payment of a non-refundable fee of 10 lakh plus taxes. The ITT will be available for purchase till 5 October.

“Any party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the ITT. However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the ITT and subject to other terms and conditions shall be eligible to bid," said Jay Shah, secretary, BCCI.

The tender can be bought by companies with valuations of 3,000 crore or more, said a person familiar with the matter. Besides, the base price for bidding could be close to 1,700 crore (the upper price at which BCCI last sold a franchise—to Sahara in 2010).

It will be a closed bid, the person said, asking not to be named.

The potential bidder can write to BCCI requesting clarifications in the tender document, which will be addressed over the next month. BCCI will list the number of cities available in the present settings for potential bidders to select from. The winning bids, upon submission, will be announced around the time when the IPL 2021 edition’s knockout stage is held in September-October.

The two new teams could possibly be from Ahmedabad, Lucknow or Pune. The first two cities are believed to be the top contenders as both seem to be more suitable because of the bigger capacity venues, including the Narendra Modi Stadium with a capacity of 110,000 in Ahmedabad and the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, which has a capacity of 50,000. BCCI has not disclosed the list of cities yet.

At present, eight IPL teams play each other twice and the top four go into the playoffs for the final.

“To me, 2,000 crore seems like a realistic base figure for the new team franchises as the league has grown and teams are making good annual revenue, which could go up to 70 crore. I believe multiple corporates are interested in riding the IPL wave and I won’t be surprised if the bid goes as high as 4,000-5,000 crore. BCCI is also set to renew the media rights contract. Thus, there is significant amount of money to be made out of IPL," a senior sports executive said on condition of anonymity.

The official broadcaster of the T20 league, Star India, has paid 16,347.50 crore for 2018-22 but this was for 60 matches per year. Once two new teams are added and the number of matches is expected to go up to 94, the broadcast rights are expected to be re-negotiated. The new teams will boost the overall IPL ecosystem with more players and support staff along with support to local economy, experts said.

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