Kolkata News: East Bengal food court to pep up Kolkata

Kolkata, Nov 24 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): Now fans of Kolkata based football giant East Bengal can connect with their club in a more special way as the club is all set to have their own food court in the next couple of months.

The concept of club merchandising or food court is quite new in India in comparison to the soccer clubs of Europe where the clubs have dedicated merchandise shops.

European soccer giants like Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and even Arsenal have meerchandise shop where fans can go to buy jerseys and other goods associated with the clubs.

However, in India it is quite new concept as far as the food courts and merchandise shops of Indian soccer clubs are concerned.

But the wait is finally over as Bluechip Projects, title sponsor of the East Bengal U-15 side, has taken the initiative to create the East Bengal food court in the ‘City of Joy’. The name of the project is ‘I-Space’.

Located at the Dum Dum Nager Bazar area of Kolkata, fans can not only taste lip-smacking dishes which will include delicacies from East Begal (now Bangladesh), but also buy jerseys and other merchandise associated with the iconic soccer club of the country.

“First time East Bengal and Bluechip are uniting to form the food court,” Ritwik Das, CEO and MD, Bluechip Projects told IBNS.

“These are initiatives to increase club revenue. Mrechandise and all will be avainlable here,” Das said.

The court will not only serve tasty cuisines but at the same time it will host special events and talk shows.

Speaking about the reasons behind taking this kind of an initiative, he said: “We travel a lot and have seen Arsenal, Bayern Munich doing their merchandising. We expect some tremendous response with this initiative.”

Keeping in mind the large fan base of East Bengal, the price of the goods would be kept at a reasonable range, Das said.

From jerseys to badges, the court will have huge collection of items for customers.

“We know that the fan base of the club is really huge. So we will keep it in such a way that the goods remain affordable to all and at the end of the day take the nostalgia back with them to their residences,” Das said.

It was way back in 1920 when East Bengal club was established in Kolkata and since then it has written several glorious chapters in the history of Indian football.

The club holds the record of winning the Calcutta League for consecutively six times from 1970 to 1975. It had aslo won the ASEAN Cup in 2003 by defeating Tero Sassana in Jakarta.

However, apart from the historic point of view the Indian and specially the Bengali supporters of the club will always cherish the rivalry between East Bengal and the other soccer giant from the city Mohun Bagan.

The I-league derby clash between the two clubs is equally popular today and it is proved from the large turn out of audience during the last Derby match between the two clubs at the Salty Lake stadium on Nov 20.

Mohun Bagan won the clash by 1-0 margin but the spirit of the game was cherished by the fans of both the sides.

And now with the food court coming up in the next six months, spectators can even visit the venue on the Derby day and relax themselves with some good food and electrifying football actions along with it.

By Supriyo Hazra/IBNS
sh /sb

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