The IPL governing council has confirmed that the 2018 edition of the cash-rich league will only have one opening ceremony which is expected to have major international stars coming in and performing at the event. Unlike the last year where a separate curtain-raiser was organized in each of the eight home venues of the franchises, only a unified opening ceremony will be held this year.
In a bid to make it a much more grander event this year, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has already taken a decision to allocate a budget of Rs. 50 crore for the opening ceremony on April 6 (a day before the first match of the tournament in Mumbai), which is significantly higher than the sum of Rs. 30 crores laid out for the 2017 edition which was subsequently divided between the eight venues equally.
The governing council explained that the decision has been taken to provide international level build-up to the eleventh edition of the IPL and to bring in some global music icons to perform at the ceremony.
“The IPL GC has taken decision to increase the IPL budget to 50 crore. The BCCI felt in order to make it grand we will be needing stars from around the world. And if you want world stars to perform then you need the necessary budget. The Board has decided to do away with having an opening ceremony in each of the eight venues and have a grand event this time around,” a BCCI source told The Indian Express.
If the plan does take shape, it will not be the first time that an IPL opening ceremony will see international stars performing on its stage. The IPL curtain-raisers have been glitzy affairs over the years with pop stars like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pitbull and Akon performing in different years. Rock legend Bryan Adams has also graced the event in the past. The multiple opening ceremonies last year though were limited to only having Bollywood celebrities on stage.