When Major League Baseball kicks off its abridged season this month, its fan base is going to look dramatically different and they won’t be nearly as loud.
That’s because teams like the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and a handful of others will be filling their stands with cardboard cutouts of fans. The trend, which we first saw in European soccer leagues, has now made its way to the United States.
When MLB returns after a lost spring due to coronavirus, fans will not be permitted in the stands. That has forced teams to look for creative solutions to recoup in-stadium revenue and create fan engagement.
The A’s announced the start of the “Coliseum Cutouts” program on Monday, which allows fans to put their image on an 18 x 30 cardboard cutout and for the chance to see their cutout appear on television. In 24 hours, the A’s said they have already sold 1,000 “season tickets” for the cardboard cutouts.