Fans throng Bengaluru stadium for ISL 2018 finalIBTimes IN

The much-anticipated final of Indian Super League (ISL) 2017/18 season between newbies Bengaluru FC and former champions Chennaiyin FC scheduled for Saturday, March 17 has triggered a mad scramble for tickets.

Thousands of football fans flocked to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday, March 15 in hopes of witnessing Sunil Chhetri's men in action from the stands on Saturday.

Fans were disappointed as tickets were sold out within a few hours during the online sale earlier this week. However, the Football Sports Development Limited, organisers of Hero Indian Super League announced Wednesday, March 14 that the tickets would be sold offline — Box Office ticket sale — from 11am IST at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday.

From students, who had bunked classes to senior citizens, fans of the beautiful game across all age groups weathered the surprisingly unpleasant weather in Bengaluru and waited patiently for their turn to reach "Gate G" counters where the offline tickets were being sold.

Quite a few people, who were standing towards the end of the long queue, conceded they had not expected "Chinnaswamy-esque" crowd outside Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Street food vendors were making full use of the situation outside the football stadium. Bengaluru FC t-shirts were also being sold at the venue.

Street vendors were selling food and drinks to fans waiting outside Sree Kanteerava Stadium on March 15.Akshay Ramesh

'Didn't get tickets for the stand I had wanted'

Vikram, a Bengaluru FC supporter from the city, told International Business Times India that he had reached the venue as early as 9am IST despite getting hold of a few tickets when they were available online.

"I came around 9 o'clock here to stand in the queue for tickets. I got hold of a couple of them already through "Bookmyshow" but I did not get tickets for the stands that I wanted. So I am trying my luck. But now I hear those are gone too. I am not too sure if I want to continue standing in the queue now," Vikram said.

"For someone who has attended the previous few games, having seen the packed stands, you would imagine the stadium would be completely packed (for the final) and the tickets would go away like gold dust. But the scene is definitely a lot different from what it used to be," he added.

Vendors did not miss the opportunity to sell a few Bengaluru FC t-shirts on March 15.Akshay Ramesh

Vikram added he is excited to see the final chapter of the rivalry between Bengaluru and Chennaiyin in the ongoing season. Notably, Chhetri's men were beaten 2-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in December 2017 but they got avenged their defeat during their trip to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in February.

"That rivalry would be there. We played them twice this season. We lost at home, beat them away and got our sweet revenge. This is going to be the decider and what better game to get it than a final."

Notably, Albert Roca's men reached the final in their first-ever ISL campaign after skipper Chhetri scored a hat-trick in the semi-final second leg against FC Pune City at home Sunday, March 11. John Gregory-coached Chennaiyin outclassed FC Goa 4-1 (on aggregate) to reach their second final in four years.

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