The Phillies 2020 season opener against the Marlins is just nine days away. Although fans won't be in attendance for it, they can still have a presence at the games.
The Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck joined Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team on Wednesday to talk about the team's plans to have cardboard cutouts in the stands this season.
"We finalized on the company the other day," said Buck. "They have a great app that is going to be super simple where you just upload your picture. There is a local company that is going to make the cardboard cutouts for us. The first weekend, we are going to do something, I think it's super cool what we are doing and who we are honoring. After the first weekend, we are going to open it up to season ticket holders and fans to purchase it."
Buck did not expand on details relating to the opening weekend surprise. When asked about the potential cost of a cutout, Buck indicated the team had not set prices yet, citing a couple of pending issues the club is facing.
"Here is one of the things we are trying to figure out and it depends on how things are. The players right now, they are in the Diamond Club. All the extra Phillies players, they are hanging out in the Diamond Club. At one point, we were going to fill the Diamond Club with these cardboard cutouts. If the season starts and the players are starting in the Diamond Club, we might have to put the cardboard cutouts maybe above the dugouts and so forth. We hope to have a lot, we have a way to secure them to the seats, and we think it's kind of fun."
The Phillies will have one fan in attendance during home games: the Phillie Phanatic. Buck gave some insight into what the Phanatic might be up to in an empty stadium this season.
"He's allowed there. There are three different tiers of employees. He's Tier 3 and I'm Tier 3. We aren't even allowed to get near Tier 2, and Tier 1 are the players. He's nowhere near anyone, he's going to roam the ballpark and the stands. Now, it wouldn't surprise me from the first homestand there are a couple of cutouts with Marlins fans wearing Marlins gear and he might have some fun with those guys… He's talking about doing virtual Zoom dances with fans during the game. I think he will be in the TV booth a lot too. He loves his TV time."