Cricket fans have been offered ticket refunds to the upcoming inaugural Test match at Optus Stadium after being moved out of the shaded top tier at the Perth venue.
Cricket Australia (CA), the sport’s governing body in the country, said more than 1,500 ticketholders over the four days of play had been relocated into like-for-like priced seats elsewhere on the lower levels.
According to the Sunday Times newspaper, level five will be closed due to lower-than-expected ticket sales for the Test, which starts on Friday.
To appease fans that have been moved into an area that will be in direct sunlight, they have been offered free sunscreen for the match.
Cricket supporter Michelle Ryan told Perth Now she had planned to travel from her home in Sydney for the Australia versus India match-up at the new 60,000-seat stadium.
After spending A$105 for each ticket back in June, as well as booking flights and accommodation for the trip, Ryan received an email from Ticketmaster with news of the move.
It said that due to “operational reasons the area where you originally purchased tickets is no longer available.”
She was told her seats had been relocated, “but please don’t worry, we have moved you closer to the action on level one and close to the food and beverage outlets”.
“I am absolutely disgusted with Cricket Australia’s decision,” she said. “I live in Sydney and follow the Test team around the world. However, due to the lack of shade at the WACA, I have watched Tests in Perth on two occasions.
“Therefore when tickets went on sale for Optus Stadium I deliberately bought tickets on level five. I bought these tickets on June 5, which was the first day they went on sale to Gold Cricket Family Members.
“If I wanted to sit on level one — where they are putting me now — I would have bought them at that time. To say that free sunscreen will solve the problem is ridiculous.”
Ryan has requested a refund from Ticketmaster, but will travel to Perth where she’ll watch the Test on TV.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said it was happy to discuss refunds or alternative seating with supporters.