Unprecedented interest in the Australian Boomers’ two-game series against USA Basketball at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on August 22 and 24 has seen the second game sell out, with only a limited amount of tickets remaining for the opening game of the series.
The best available players from both Australia and the USA are expected to take to the purpose-built court in Melbourne as part of their final preparations for the FIBA World Cup that tips off just a week later on 31 August in China.
According to Basketball Australia’s official release, over 90,000 tickets have been sold since going on sale, and it was an achievement that Acting Basketball Australia CEO Paul Maley was excited about.
“There has been a high demand for tickets to these games from the day they went on sale and the hype surrounding the Boomers continues to grow. We cannot wait to welcome USA Basketball to Melbourne in August and showcase to the world games between these two basketball powerhouses.”
Geoff Jones, CEO of event promoter TEG, was overwhelmed by the interest in the series between two of the strongest basketball nations in the world who are expected to be vying for medals at the World Cup.
“To sell over 90,000 in less than three months talks to the surging popularity of basketball across Asia and the remarkable nature of these two games. The Boomers against USA Basketball will be an event experience unlike any hosted before on Australian shores. From the world-class talent on court, to the incredible atmosphere off it, fans lucky enough to secure tickets are in for something unforgettable.”
It was a sentiment shared by Peter Bingeman, the Visit Victoria Chief Executive, who said that the sell-out crowd will boost the visitor economy.
“This is an outstanding result. We knew that the matches between the Australian Boomers and the USA Basketball men’s team would be popular, but to have game two sold out so early is exciting to say the least. “If you don’t already have a ticket to these incredible basketball games at Marvel Stadium, you can give yourself a chance to win tickets by registering at Front Row Melbourne, which has 12 epic prizes, including these games, ensuring platinum access to the best major events in Melbourne.”
The two-game series will include a week-long celebration of basketball in Melbourne, with the players conducting children’s clinics and making appearances all around Melbourne.
The 55,000 capacity Marvel Stadium will be re-configured with state-of-the-art screens and seating, with an elevated, purpose-built court placed at the centre of the traditional AFL sporting venue. With 2 games set to be played, more than 100,000 fans will have the opportunity to watch in person both the US and Australian stars in action.
The last time Australia and the USA met was at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, a game in which the American’s prevailed in a narrow result. Australia finished fourth in that event, and were just one bad call away from earning bronze. And while there is some pessimism being exhibited by some as to whether the US and Australia will actually be able to roll out their NBA stars at this series, with the World Cup tipping off just a week later, there is little doubt that both nations will be bringing their best available teams.