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‘It was a farce’: Fans fume over Australia vs USA basketball rip-off

Basketball fans have been left fuming after last night’s exhibition game between Australia and the USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

More than 51,000 fans attended, some paying thousands of dollars a ticket, after being promised the biggest stars in the world would be playing, only for the majority of them to pull out.

Then when they arrived, many of the premium seats had little or no view of the court.

Thousands of plastic seats were packed in at ground level, with no elevation whatsoever, leaving many staring at the back of people’s heads rather than the game.

Actor Russell Crowe was among those who have vented their frustrations online, calling it “a farce”.

“The only thing achieved tonight by Basketball Australia was enjoining with the promoters in ripping off well-meaning lovers of the sport,” he posted on Twitter.

“To have that sort of seating setup for that sort of game … it’s really unacceptable, especially at those sort of ticket prices,” ESPN basketball writer Steve Smith told Macquarie Radio.

On Thursday afternoon, before the event even began, promoters TEG Live began issuing refunds based on “concerns that the advertising for the event was misleading”.

The ACCC is investigating.

On the court, Team USA beat Australia 102 – 86.

Former Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze tells Steve Price the game itself was not disappointing.

“It was a fantastic night for the overwhelming vast majority of people there.

“Disappointing that some people never got the experience they were hoping for.”

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