Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information from FanCutOuts on minimum orders through their service.
If you’ve watched a sporting event in 2020/21 since March, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a stadium shot that features no fans, but a row of stationary fans, dogs, and mascots. Fan cutouts have becomes the hot trend of pandemic sports as a way to get “faces” in the crowd.
The Syracuse Orange have not offered any cutout action for fans this football or basketball season, and they’re not alone in that decision. However, they are the only ACC school to not have any kind of “fans” in the stands this year, although that may be changing once students return to campus.
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said Syracuse University is putting together a plan in hopes of getting students back into athletic events in the Carrier Dome. Would be similar to what state permitted with Bills’ playoff games. Students return to campus Feb. 8.— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) January 21, 2021
If this plan does not materialize, SU will be the only program in the ACC to not have cardboard or in person fans at games at all this academic year.
Schools With Football Fans in Stands
- Clemson Tigers
- Florida State Seminoles
- Miami Hurricanes
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Georgia Tech Yellowjackets
Schools with Football Cardboard Cutouts (Entry Price)
- Boston College Eagles ($25)
- Duke Blue Devils ($90)
- North Carolina Tar Heels ($50)
- NC State Wolfpack ($79)
- Pittsburgh Panthers ($100)
- Virginia Tech Hokies ($70)
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons ($60)
Looks like Boston College has a full section of very good dog cutouts. pic.twitter.com/f4wpJwZQQo— Mike Foss (@MikeFossWXYZ) October 3, 2020
Schools With Basketball Fans in Stands
- Notre Dame
Schools With Basketball Cardboard Cutouts (Entry Price)
- BC ($25)
- FSU (Price N/A due to deadline)
- Georgia Tech Yellowjackets ($28)
- Louisville ($60)
- N.C. State ($79)
- Wake Forest (N/A)
- UNC ($60)
- Duke ($95)
- Pitt ($50)
- UVA ($75)
- Virginia Tech (N/A)
Additionally, most cutout packages listed above are entry level prices; there are more premium options for group packages, coach signatures on cutouts or other memorabilia, and premium seating locations.
This feels like a missed opportunity for Syracuse. With every other ACC school participating in some fashion you can generate a little revenue while keeping fans engaged with the program in a fun way. And it’s not like the question hasn’t been raised. Back in November, broadcaster Matt Park seemed to imply that there were efforts being made to make it happen behind the scenes.
I don’t believe that is a thing yet, but it may become one. I know the companies that create those have a minimum buy-in and I believe an effort will be made to collect enough of an order. Stay tuned. https://t.co/ezDAF7wL4m— Matt Park (@MattPark1) November 25, 2020
Assuming there are no cutouts in the stands by next homestand, it’s not likely to happen with so few remaining Dome games. Could it be because SU didn’t see that there was enough interest from season ticket holders? (I was never asked as a football STH, but I can’t speak for men’s or women’s basketball.) FanCutouts — the service providing these for many professional and collegiate programs — says that they do not require a minimum number for their orders. Additionally, there are other services that provide the same product on an individual basis out there with standard turnaround times.
Is this something you would have participated in? Let us know in the comments.