With coronavirus ravaging the world, sports authorities in several countries where sporting actions have resume are devising several ways to livening up the games without the fans in the stadiums.
This is no doubt a challenge for competitions returning after the coronavirus, but organisers have tried to make empty stadiums more appealing.
South Korean football club FC Seoul had been accused of placing sex dolls in the stands. So, let’s have a look at some of the innovations put in place to create a lively arena.
In Taiwan, sporting action resumed last month with the baseball league. Robots were used in providing live music as they drummed in the stands.
Here, a group of robots — some wearing wigs were seen banging drums for Rakuten Monkeys’ opening game. Mannequins wearing team colours were placed around the stadium, along with cardboard cut-outs of fans, media and players’ family members.
German football club Borussia Moenchengladbach took the idea of cardboard cut-outs a step further and gave fans the chance to have life-sized images of themselves in the stands.
The German club took the popular thing a notch ahead with thousands of people taken up the offer, where they pay 19 Euros to have their image placed in the Borussia-Park stadium.
“The campaign organisers are regularly overrun with orders. We can hardly keep up trying to install them all,” fan representative Thomas Weinmann told the Bundesliga website.
Replacing the roar of excitement and anguish of fans is the sound of tinny, recorded cheering in some stadiums. For instance, in South Korea’s K-League, recordings of popular chants have echoed around the country’s empty football venues, some of which hosted games at the 2002 World Cup.
There is a software called MyApplause, which allows fans to create crowd noise from their homes. It allows users to choose from cheering, clapping, chanting and whistling, and the resulting noise is played over the stadium loudspeakers and the spectators’ home sound systems. Team-specific logos and chants are available.