After years as the A-League's bad news bears, Wellington Phoenix are in sight of an attendance record on Saturday when they return home for the first time this season.
The Phoenix - like the NRL's Warriors and NBL's New Zealand Breakers - have spent the season playing in Australia due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
After 22 games on the road, the Phoenix turn out in their home city this weekend.
Thousands will be waiting.
"We've done 15,000 (tickets) already and we've got Thursday, Friday Saturday left," Phoenix general manager David Dome told AAP.
"We'll be extremely disappointed if we don't get more than 20,000 and now that's highly unlikely."
Those ticket sales puts Saturday's clash with Western United on track to break two records: the biggest crowd of the season (currently this month's Sydney derby with 20,336 attending) and Wellington's biggest regular season crowd.
A similar figure is expected at Auckland's Eden Park a week later, when Perth Glory tackle the Phoenix.
"It is huge for the club. It's fantastic for the playing group and the players who had to relocate for six months to Wollongong," Dome said.
"And it's a great show of support from the people of Wellington and then Auckland for the sacrifice that those guys have made."
Among the crowd will be the Lewis clan, cheering on their son Clayton.
The midfielder joined his boyhood club this season, but is yet to play in his hometown.
"To actually play in front of the Phoenix fans ... it'll be massive," he said.
The two home matches arrive at a crucial moment in Wellington's season, with Ufuk Talay's side three points out of the top six with four games to play.
For the Auckland-based Breakers, a run of seven matches comes just too late to save their NBL campaign given their 9-20 record.
They will at least experience a welcome return on Thursday night in Auckland, with celebrities among a near sold-out crowd.
"The team's motto is unbreakable and I've been amazed that at no stage throughout the season heads have dropped," team spokesman Craig Stanaway said.
"They'll show how good they are now they're home.
"The litmus test of this competition is the Perth Wildcats and they beat them in Perth and Launceston."
NBL executive chairman Larry Kestelman thanked the team for their "enormous sacrifice".
"They left New Zealand back in December and have played 29 games across Australia since then," he said.
"It's a very long time to be away from family and friends but they have dealt with their challenging circumstances like absolute professionals."
The Breakers will play matches in Auckland, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Pukekohe and Rotorua on their return.
The Warriors are yet to confirm if they will host their NRL clash with St George Illawarra at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on July 2 to end their long run of matches in Australia.