When I first read about
this I thought it was a joke.
But apparently it's for real, and at least one soccer club in Europe is actually doing this to fill up its stadium with "fans" during the pandemic.
Except the "fans" filling the seats of the stadium, it seems, are actually life-size cardboard cutouts with blown-up photographs of real-life fans pasted on to them. Click on link below to see the image of such a "packed" stadium.
According to the article, there has been a very positive reaction to this admittedly unique way of turning out the fans, with the fans themselves helping to finance the undertaking, as they send in photos of themselves along with a fee, and the photos are then used to create and install their cardboard doubles in their seats. Stadium officials report:
" ... we can hardly keep up trying to install them all. But we're obviously delighted with the overwhelming support it's received."
Of course when a team scores a goal during a game, there is no roar from the crowd, as one player notes:
"Sadly, we can’t get the same noise from the crowd, but it’s still a nice feeling to have the fans there."
Well, sort of there.
Gosh, think of the advantages. No drunk rowdy fans. No fights between the two teams' fans. But kinda hard to get the fans to do a wave, I guess.
Wonder if the NFL or some American college football teams would be interested in exploring this option for games in their own stadiums this fall, if real-fan presence in stadiums is still an issue come September. https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/824876/borussia-monchengladbach-fans-cut-outs-stadium/