Fri | Jun 25, 2021

Ghost game - German club sells over 72,000 tickets for COVID-19 relief

Published:Saturday | December 26, 2020 | 12:10 AM
Darmstadt’s players cheer after scoring their second goal against Dynamo Dresden during their German Bundesliga second-round match played in an empty stadium, despite more than 72,000 tickets being sold for the game at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion in Dresde
Darmstadt’s players cheer after scoring their second goal against Dynamo Dresden during their German Bundesliga second-round match played in an empty stadium, despite more than 72,000 tickets being sold for the game at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion in Dresden, Germany, on Tuesday, December 22.

DRESDEN, Germany (AP):

German third-tier football club Dynamo Dresden has said it sold more than 72,000 tickets for a game played in an empty stadium with no fans.

Former East German champion Dynamo offered fans the ‘ghost tickets’ – named for the German habit of dubbing empty-stadium matches ‘ghost games’ – for €5 (J$870) as a way to raise funds for the club during the coronavirus pandemic. Fans could receive a commemorative ticket to keep.

The total of 72,112 tickets sold for Tuesday’s German Cup game against Darmstadt was more than double the capacity of Dresden’s stadium. Dresden said that only two games in the club’s history, both away games, had more people in attendance.

Dresden lost the game 3-0 to Darmstadt, which plays a division above Dynamo in the league.

German clubs have pioneered innovative fundraising ideas after the pandemic hurt teams’ incomes.

When German football shut down in the spring, third-tier club Uerdingen sold ‘virtual tickets’ for a fictional game. Top-division side Borussia Mönchengladbach offered fans the chance to have their photos printed on to cardboard cutouts for home games, an idea quickly copied by sports teams around the world.