Optus Stadium will be at a throbbing half-capacity for Thursday night’s clash between Geelong and Collingwood and, of course, Sunday’s local blockbuster Western Derby.

WA had initially planned to roll out Phase 5 of its recovery plan on Saturday, allowing a 60,000-capacity crowds at the Derby, however they announced a 2-week delay amid concerns about the latest outbreak in Victoria.

Trouble is, about 40,000 tickets had already been sold.

Effectively, they had to start again.

Lisa put it to Matthew Pavlich, who dropped in for a chat with Botica’s Bunch on Wednesday morning, if it was a case of “suspend belief you bought a ticket, start from the beginning?”

“Pretty much,” he said.

“They’ve all gone into a ballot and depending on your ranking of membership, or what you’ve pledged to the club… I think platinum [Fremantle] members had a chance on Monday and so on and so forth until they reach their 30,000 mark.

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“Where it all lands, I’m not sure, I think it’s been one of those things that everyone’s making it up as they go because it’s all happening so late.

“What we do know is there will be 30,000 fans in purple.”

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The crowd will be the biggest seen in WA since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1400 casual staff, security and cleaners, all of whom have undertaken hygiene training, will work at the stadium across the two games.

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Hand sanitising facilities will be placed throughout the venue, payments will be contactless and extra cleaning will be carried out on event days.