If you’ve got floor-level tickets to tonight’s hugely anticipated exhibition game between Australia’s very own Boomers and the third-string might of Team USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, you might want to consider packing binoculars or some stilts or something. Images from inside the arena, ordinarily used for football and cricket, have given a look at how the transformation into giant basketball arena has gone down, and for punters who forked out hundreds of dollars for a spot close to the action, it’s looking it’s gonna be far from ideal.
Press cameras were allowed into the stadium this afternoon ahead of tonight’s matchup – the first of two at the stadium – and it’s certainly an impressive sight, but perhaps not for the reasons organisers might have been hoping.
A sea of cheap plastic garden chairs have been placed onto the ground-level surface of the stadium, with only a handful of the very front rows afford padded “premium” fold-out chairs for the event.
Not sure how most of the people in the non-tiered floor seating will be able to see anything? pic.twitter.com/A6hRoH3ZHD— Nick Jungfer (@nickjungfer) August 22, 2019
Despite the court itself being raised up, it’s hard to see how anyone on the ground level is going to get a meaningful view of any of the action, particularly if people in front of them stand up to try and get a better view, which you’d think is a virtual certainty.
That’s a particularly big pill to swallow for punters given the sheer cost of those seats. Even at the very back of the sections, the quickly-snapped up seats set people back anywhere from $300 up to around $500 per seat.
are you FUCKING KIDDING ME https://t.co/zxLDGy0QDS— kate moss (but goth) (@yxyyxyyxyyxy) August 21, 2019
Worse still, emerging reports have confirmed that the ACCC has stepped in to force promoter TEG Live to begin issuing patrons refunds who felt mislead by the advertising of the games, which featured images of prominent NBA stars who wound up pulling out of the game in droves. The Team USA side has been plagued by controversy over its lack of star power, being lead up by just one All-Star in Kemba Walker, alongside emerging point guard Donovan Mitchell. It’s understood TEG Live had previously refused punters refunds on these grounds.
DEVELOPING – The @acccgovau has confirmed that the promoter of tonight's @BasketballAus v @usabasketball (@TEG_Live) has begun making refunds to ticket-holders, after concerns that the advertising for the event was misleading, by showing players who are not taking part (1/2).— Seb Costello (@SebCostello9) August 22, 2019
The ACCC will continued to investigate after original posters advertising the event featured the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. @9NewsMelb had previously been told that refunds would not be offered by a spokesperson for the @TEG_Live. 2/2— Seb Costello (@SebCostello9) August 22, 2019
Really though, imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a cheap plastic Bunnings seat and a view of hundreds of heads?
It’s not like any other Marvel Stadium sporting event involving temporary plastic seating has gone horribly, horribly bung in the past.
Have you lot learned NOTHING.
The game itself, which could yet be entirely decent, begins at 7:30pm this evening, with live coverage being provided by SBS VICELAND.