Yep, some are even calling it the Fyre Festival of Sporting Events.
Last night, Marvel Stadium in Melbourne played host to Team USA as they played a warmup game against the Aussie Boomers. With all eyes on the once-in-a-blue-moon match, expectations were running high. Unfortunately, even in the lead up to the event, the organisers had hit some speed bumps.
In what will be remembered as a promotional disaster – and could result in action from the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) – the event misled and deceived fans from the get-go. With the original promo poster featuring NBA MVP’s such as of James Harden, Kevin Durant and L.A. based duo Anthony Davis and Paul George, fans rushed to fork out hundreds of dollars to see their favourite players down under.
In reality, those stars were never coming and it was only after aggressive media coverage on the misrepresentation that Marvel Stadium and Ticketek revised their advertising.
“It’s a bit like going to a Rolling Stones concert and they say ‘sorry Mick Jagger’s not available’,” Ben Fordham told Today. “There’s some misleading advertising going on.”
With tickets ranging from AUD$150 to $1500, many fans still forked out big bucks to see what was, with or without the stars, going to be an entertaining ball game. That is, until they saw the seating arrangements.
With another series of misleading promotional pictures, Marvel Stadium looked to have set the stage for one of the best viewing experience around. In reality, a couple of plastic chairs from Bunnings on the would-be oval were reserved for the premium tickets while the stalls had a 100-odd metre distance between them and the court.
Many were frustrated, including the likes of Russell Crowe. If General Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius, knows anything at all, it’s how to put on a fucking show.
$1500 a ticket for this view. AUS v USA .
Jokes on me.
If you weren’t among 50,000 there and you chose to watch it on tv at home, good decision . pic.twitter.com/VlNuXWp6iI
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 22, 2019
Even though you might be counting your chickens that you didn’t buy a ticket, you probably weren’t too happy at home either. In a bold move, TV coverage offered an unusual angle that resembled something closer to NBA Jam than an actual basketball match.
The camera angle is a bit weird #BoomersUSA
— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) August 22, 2019
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 is in talks with TEG, the promotions company who organised the event.
Game Two is set to still be played this Saturday afternoon at Marvel Stadium without any changes being announced.