Want to attend a San Francisco Giants game this season? How about all of them? That can be arranged for the low price of $99. While the Giants won’t be permitting spectators on their grounds this season amid the COVID pandemic, the team will allow season-ticket holders—and anyone with a hundred bucks to spare—to send photos of themselves to be used as cutouts for display at Oracle Park throughout the upcoming 2020 MLB season. According to ESPN, the weatherproof cutouts will be placed as close as possible to where season-ticket holders would have sat.
It’s a clever ploy by the Giants, who likely were inspired by the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization), which has staged games in empty stadiums for the past month. In place of fans, the KBO has often employed cardboard proxies and even stuffed animals (SpongeBob and lasagna-loving Garfield have picked up the slack with Marlins Man in quarantine).
While the Giants plan to move forward without spectators, it’s unclear how other teams will proceed amid an unprecedented global outbreak. Certain states have been looser than others in policing social distancing and other restrictions related to COVID-19, allowing the possibility for fans to potentially attend games, albeit at a significantly reduced capacity. However, all teams would be subject to league approval on that matter and so far, none of MLB’s 30 clubs have been given the green light.
Though MLB franchises will surely be looking to recoup their recent losses through ticket and concession sales, allowing only some teams to hosts fans could create an unfair advantage. The NFL, which opens play in September, is currently grappling with the same issue.
With cases of coronavirus on the rise, particularly in states like Texas and Florida, teams shouldn’t expect fans—except cardboard ones—in the seats anytime soon.