‘Disappointing outcome for our community’: Campbelltown Council have had no dialogue from Wests Tigers about final round switchSeptember 4, 2020
BY STAFF WRITERS
Campbelltown City Council has moved quickly to quash the belief that Wests Tigers wouldn’t have been able to host the club’s final home game against the Eels at Campbelltown Stadium which has been shifted from Bankwest Stadium to Leichhardt Oval.
The decision to move the round 20 fixture to Leichhardt allows club greats Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence the sendoff they deserve.
Fans in the Macarthur and surrounding districts however were quick to share their anger online, wondering how Leichhardt scored yet another game.
As reported by the81stminute.com on Thursday, Leichhardt Oval has already received two NRL matches this season with fans allowed in attendance while supporters in Campbelltown are yet to see one. The round 20 encounter will be Leichhardt’s third.
“…In honour of what is expected to be Marshall’s final game for the [Wests] Tigers, club officials will sacrifice ticket sales and corporate revenue from the larger venue to send the 35-year-old out at his beloved Leichhardt Oval, where he dazzled fans since his first game at the venue, ironically against the Eels in 2004,” Michael Chammas wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the week.
“The Tigers have opened conversations with Bankwest Stadium officials, who have expressed a willingness to hand over the final-round fixture as a mark of respect to Marshall, with the NRL also on board with the mooted venue change.”
Lawrence is a one-club man who played and grew up in Campbelltown while Marshall made his magical debut for Wests Tigers way back in 2003 at Leumeah against Newcastle but that doesn’t appear to have come into the equation.
“What about Campbelltown Sports Stadium? last time i looked that area is part of the club. Leichhardt has had their 3 games already this season,” one fan asked on Twitter.
Another asked: “Why should members in Macarthur be deprived of farewelling both players?”
A spokesperson for Campbelltown City Council has told the81stminute.com there had been no dialogue at all from Wests Tigers about the matter.
“While there are currently bookings at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on this date, if approached by the Wests Tigers or the NRL to host a match, these would take precedence,” they said.
“It is a disappointing outcome for our community to not be able to see the Wests Tigers play in front of a crowd at the stadium this season and we will continue to advocate for local fans to get more games here in Campbelltown.”
Speculation online that Campbelltown was still a COVID-19 hot spot and unable to host games was also incorrect.