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NRL lockout fury: Angry fan slams home match day experience as 'unaffordable' and 'lacking atmosphere'

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Expert
24th March, 2020
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The crisis engulfing the suspended NRL season has deepened further after its sole round of fan lockouts was labelled an “unmitigated disaster”, with one furious supporter vowing from home to “never attend this venue again”.

Speaking from a reserved seat on his grimy two-seater lounge, the fan said he “spoke on behalf of everyone here” when he blasted the NRL for his home’s “unaffordable food” and “lack of atmosphere”.

The 36-year-old man, who set a new attendance record by attending eight games in three days without showering once, did concede praise for the queues and parking, but “wouldn’t cop” the cost of meals and tickets.

He also called on the NRL to forget about the financial viability of the game during its shutdown and focus on improving fan engagement, citing a “lack of vision” for not addressing the venue’s “funeral-like vibe” caused by an argument with his wife about wet towels.

The solitary criticism couldn’t have arrived at a worse time for the NRL, with the suspension of the competition sure to further impact attempts to address dwindling crowd numbers and public concerns over the match-day experience.

ANZ Stadium empty

(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The NRL was already in damage control over attendances prior to the saga, with administrators facing demands to match the AFL’s superb match-day strategy by adopting everything except the Victorians and the violence.

However, while the competition was still running, the league welcomed COVID-19 as the potential spike in public approval they craved.

Through years of strong TV ratings and healthy lethargy, they believed fans would be happy to watch matches from the family home, a venue with such iconic status in rugby league it is referred to as the spiritual home of homes.

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But unfortunately one man has dashed the game’s strategy, welcoming the league’s shutdown after declaring the experience of watching footy at home as “easily the worst thing to happen in the world this year”.

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While acknowledging the excitement of the actual football played, claiming he saw “nearly 17 minutes” while not looking at his phone, he slammed Todd Greenberg for his home’s poor hygiene and disastrously low reserves of toilet paper.

He claimed the NRL was “playing favourites” to the bigger venues, mooting the five-bedroom house next door had new amenities and a state-of-the-art 5000 capacity tiered stand built of Kleenex 36 packs.

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The man was upset with promises of “virtual” home viewing, citing no officials on hand in his lounge room to deliver a “match-day feel” by selling merchandise and sterilising his balls.

But while he scolded the poorly kept two-bedroom apartment, he did concede the dimly lit and slightly seedy surrounds did pack more atmosphere than ANZ Stadium.

He also praised Peter V’landys for lobbying for taxpayer support to address the crisis. He issued pleas for the money to be allocated to areas of need like his bathroom and for the game’s new biohazard expert to survey his dreadful bed sheets.

The disappointed fan also welcomed the idea to embellish match day broadcasts upon resumption with fake fans, admitting these would not look out of place alongside his fake merchandise and fake marriage.

He then suggested footy fans are just “basic people” who want “simple things” from the NRL, like a home with the romance of a boutique suburban ground and the cutting-edge mod cons of a futuristic stadium that also accommodate his wife’s obsession with feng shui and cold shoulders.

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He said without this the game faced a dire future in his home, musing, “I dunno how they’re going to play Origin here.

“Until then, I won’t be bringing my kids again,” he barked. “Mainly because I don’t have any.

“But what’s Greenberg doing to fix that too?”