For one Italian soccer team, empty seats are dressed as fans
This is a really horrible idea. Sure, giant pictures of cheering, adoring, fighting fans look good on TV ... certainly better than the black curtain some American sports teams use.
The problem for Triestina, a professional soccer team from the northern Italian city of Trieste, is a combination of a ginormous stadium and a dwindling fan base. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, this may be a noble solution for TV, but it's one that looks lame in person...especially since the "fans" were wearing winter coats on a lovely afternoon.
"It's a virtual tribune, with virtual fans," says Marco Cernaz, Triestina's general manager. "We'd love to have a full stadium with real supporters. And we've done everything we can to get people through the gates. But the reality is that we can't. This way at least we create a bit of atmosphere, a bit of theater."
| September 22, 2010; 1:56 PM ET
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