Tamworth's mayor says the New Zealand Warriors' visit has taken the city around the world.
Col Murray couldn't believe it when he heard that Albury Council voted 5-4 on Tuesday night against allowing NRL powerhouse Melbourne Storm to use its designated 'home', Greenfield Park after the Victorian government's strict coronavirus restrictions forced the club to find an alternative temporary base.
The Storm had already arrived on the Border, but it was feared the club could be forced to suddenly relocate to Sydney.
However, Ovens and Murray Football League outfit Albury Tigers provided a lifeline by allowing the club to train at Albury Sportsground.
Councillors were worried about a number of issues, including double standards and a perceived health risk to the population, particularly given how low the infection rate is.
But mayor Murray says Warriors' players have been almost 'invisible' since arriving in the city.
The club is based at the West Tamworth League Club complex, which is a gated precinct, so the players won't leave the area.
Albury is different in that the Storm will travel to its training base by bus, albeit under extraordinarily strict health protocols where they, likewise, won't deal with the general public.
"If we were to try and attach a cost to the marketing that the Warriors' visit has brought to the city, it's almost incalculable," mayor Murray said.
"On Monday, I did 11 media interviews and only three were local.
"I spoke to media from New Zealand, but there's also a French wire service here and they've been speaking to a lot of community people, not just about the footy, but also about farming and other topics."
West Tamworth employs 165 people, with the employment of 42 - just over a quarter - reactivated because of the Warriors.
"I think the entire country and the world is looking for a good news story, it's been such a good story for us," mayor Murray said.
"They're (the Warriors) saying they want to come back and play a game and give back to the community."