As professional sports leagues across the world try and figure out how to involve fans in social distance-friendly ways, one soccer team in Denmark may have finally solved the problem. 👀
AGF Aarhus of the Danish Superliga returned to their home field of Ceres Park recently to take on league rival Randers FC. While no rowdy fans were physically present to greet the two teams, over 10,000 people could be seen cheering as part of a "virtual grandstand."
Looks kind of cool, tbh.
Per Yahoo! Sports, the club started offering free "tickets" to its return match in early May after play was suspended due to the coronavirus, an issue that's blanketed nearly every sport.
Eager fans who registered for a ticket were given a Zoom link and, on game day, a rotating spot on a huge sideline video board stretching 44 yards in length and over 9 feet in height. As fans watched the game at home on TV, their faces and voices were broadcast for players and coaches to see and hear.
Just look at this dude slugging a beer in his apartment while peering down on the action. He's in elite fan shape, for sure.
Since the Zoom platform isn't able to host thousands of participants in one meeting, AGF Aarhus split fans up into 556 separate chats with 18 scenes each. They were able to communicate with one another throughout the game.
Around 50 "digital stewards" monitored each group for inappropriate behavior, which didn't seem to be an issue. But if this tech-enabled viewing strategy continues, you can bet some creative distraction techniques will be introduced, especially since each fan was given upwards of two minutes on the big screen.
The game lived up to the hype, too, as AGF Aarhus tied things up 1-1 in the 92nd minute, leading to a draw. You can hear the excitement in the highlight below.