Since actual fans can’t fill seats due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some sports stadiums have been replacing them with cardboard cutouts. My home team the Los Angeles Dodgers are also making cutouts of fans’ dogs and cats for $149 to $299 each, depending on the stadium location. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, a nonprofit that works to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for Angelenos.
Here’s another great idea: Starting on Aug. 25, the fans at Philadelphia Union soccer games at Subaru Park will be cardboard cutouts of dogs who are available for adoption at local shelters.
“At Subaru, our love for pets runs as deeply as our love for soccer, and from the onset of our partnership with the Union, we knew we wanted to bring our furry friends out to Subaru Park and bring awareness to adopting shelter pets,” Subaru of America, Inc.’s Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing, said in a press release.
The cutouts, called the “Dogs of Ben,” were inspired by the Union’s Sons of Ben team supporter group. Subaru is working with Providence Animal Center and other local shelters to find four-legged fans like Aubrey (those ears!), whose images will fill the stadium’s midfield stands.
Dogs of Ben is a part of the Subaru Loves Pets initiative that’s dedicated to helping improve the safety and well-being of animals nationwide.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the first Philadelphia Union game at Subaru Park on Aug. 25 and to introduce the innovative ways we are incorporating our fans, community, partners, and even adoptable pets into a Union gameday,” Tim McDermott, president of the Philadelphia Union, said in the press release.
The games will be televised on station PHL17. To learn more about these Union fans and how to adopt one of them, visit philadelphiaunion.com/subaru.
Since it will likely be quite a while before human fans can safely fill stadiums again, here’s hoping the Dogs of Ben will inspire stadiums all around the country to fill those empty seats with cutouts of adoptable pets.
Photos: Subaru of America, Inc.