“It’s certainly will be something that these boys will look back on in years to come after what we’ve been through, it’s a special occasion,” he said. “It’s nice getting a season all the way through.”
QR codes were placed around the venue encouraging patrons to check-in with all spectators temperature checked upon entry.
Spectators were also “strongly encouraged” to wear masks both inside and while travelling to and from the venue, with the message reiterated via signage heading into the stadium.
With the venue at full 50 per cent capacity as per NSW government restrictions, fans were seated in a checkerboard-style seating plan to allow for social distancing.
Fans were able to purchase up to eight tickets, with Ticketek’s booking system automatically leaving seats in front and behind groups empty.
Fans were also encouraged to watch post-game player interviews on the big screens to avoid a rush out of the venue, with fans asked to “enjoy the post-match show from your seats”.
Fans were also asked to buy merchandise at stalls located outside the stadium to avoid lines inside and were asked to arrive early to allow for the extra precautions.
Central Coast father and son duo Steve Sharp, 71 and Jay Sharp, 34, said they had been “looking forward” to watching the Panthers in the grand final after only being able to make one game this season due to COVID-19.
The pair had brought along their Panthers branded mask – which seemed to be a huge hit for fans.
“They’ve done a great job of letting everybody know what is going,” the eldest Sharp said.
Jay said he had earlier feared the season would never be completed.
“I was worried they would be going so well and then they would call the season off,” the 34-year-old said.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.