MLB creates new audience for players amid COVID-19

Gunner Smith, Sports Editor

With the roaring surge of COVID-19 sweeping the world, many people resort to watching sports to relieve their mind of stress. However, watching your team play in a quiet stadium with no fans belittles the excitement. Major League Baseball teams have taken steps to combat the lack of amusement for both viewers at home and players on the field.
Cutouts of real fans are now being put in almost every team’s stands. Fans pay a fee for their own cutout and then they have a chance see themselves on TV in the next game. In addition to making the game seem more lively, these cutouts help teams get some revenue that they would earn with the purchasing of tickets. Last year MLB made roughly $10 billion. However, 30 percent of the revenue came from ticket sales. This loss of slaes will have a negative impact on teams financially.
The clever idea of putting cutouts of fans in the stands was first brought up by the Seattle Mariners. For $30 fans can be part of the “Seat Fleet.” The Mariners are donating a portion of every purchase of a cutout to COVID relief efforts.
In addition to cutouts of fans, teams are playing prerecorded audio of fans cheering throughout the game. The audio matches up with what is actually happening in-game. Therefore, if a player hits a home run the sounds of real people will be heard throughout the stadium. The players appreciate the recorded audio cheering them on just like their real fans would.
Sports organizations, such as the MLB, know how to keep their fans eager to watch and boost the morale of the players as well.
In a world that is constantly changing by the hour, it is refreshing to see sports still being played. The MLB especially hit these modern day problems out of the Park.