US-Australia basketball: Fans voice anger at seating | News | DW | 23.08.2019
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US-Australia basketball: Fans voice anger at seating

Basketball fans who paid for expensive seats at a USA-Australia match in the Australian city of Melbourne say they have been ripped off. Hollywood actor Russell Crowe was among those to complain of poor courtside views.

Many fans from the biggest basketball crowd ever seen in Australia complained on Friday that seating in Melbourne's Marvel Stadium afforded poor views of a high-profile USA-Australia match, despite the courtside tickets costing more than a thousand dollars.

Among those to vent their anger was Oscar-winner Russell Crowe, who called the floor seating arrangements "a farce."

Journalist Rohan Smith showed the view had by many fans in his tweet.

For the pre-World Cup showdown, a raised basketball court was installed at the stadium, which usually hosts cricket, soccer or Australian Rules football games. Fans seated on white plastic seats at ground level thus had restricted sight of the game, which was won by the US 102-86.

A second match between the two countries is to take place at the same stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Read more: Dirk Nowitzki: Life after basketball 

Crowe looked rather discontented at the match (Getty Images/Q. Rooney)

Crowe was not amused

Controversial billing

The visit by Team USA is already under investigation by Australia's consumer watchdog over complaints that some NBA stars who had been billed to appear were absent.

"We've now added to that investigation whether or not consumers have been misled over the seating and the quality of the seating," Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Friday.

US player Harrison Barnes looks to pass, blocked by an Australian player (Getty Images/K. Defina)

The US had a 16-point win despite a roster that was controversially light on star players

"We take allegations of misleading behavior very seriously and the penalties for breaching the Consumer Act are significant."

Australian media reported that some fans had been given refunds because they had bought tickets after seeing promotional material featuring stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James, neither of whom took part in the game.

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