A German Soccer Club Came Up With an Oddly Ingenious Way to Fill Its Empty Stadium

Cardboard cuts outs of fans inside the stadium prior to the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Borussia-Park on May 23, 2020.Ina Fassbender/Pool via Getty Images

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Germany’s professional soccer league has resumed play with fans banned due to coronavirus, so one team found an unusual way to fill empty stadium seats.

Borussia Mönchengladbach, currently in fourth place in the Bundesliga, reportedly placed more than 12,000 cardboard cutouts of fans in their 54,000 stadium. These are real likenesses of season ticket holders who shelled out 19 euros each to have their facsimiles present for the contest. According to the Associated Press, the cutouts are the brainchild of the team’s fan club, which is using some of the proceeds to maintain the jobs of seven of the club’s workers, whose jobs have been under threat due to the soccer shutdown. A small portion is also supposed to help pay for a boy to receive treatment for spinal muscular atrophy.

This is kind of thing that German soccer fan clubs, which are notoriously intense and well organized, do. It’s tough to imagine Astros season ticket holders, or any American sports fans, dispatching cardboard cutouts of themselves to games. But what about politics? As Republican and Democratic parties mull holding their nominating conventions this summer, they might want to take a note.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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