Updated: Dec 26, 2020
German clubs have pioneered innovative fundraising ideas since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic and SG Dynamo Dresden this week became the latest to think 'outside the box' by selling more than 72,000 “ghost” tickets for their DFB- Pokal home clash with SV Darmstadt 98.
With fans currently barred from stadiums due to a spike in Coronavirus cases across Germany, the 3.Liga outfit launched a '30,000+ Ghosts for Dynamo' campaign by selling tickets for the match at €5 each. The loyalty of Dresden's following is unquestionable but even the former East German champions were taken aback when 72,112 “ghosts” bought tickets - nearly three times their average attendance last season and more than twice their Rudolf-Harbig Stadion's capacity. Dresden said on their website that it would have been the third-biggest crowd ever to watch one of their games.
More dependent on the income that fans bring through the turnstiles than their Bundesliga counterparts, sides further down the football pyramid in Germany, like Dresden, have been especially hard hit by having to play matches behind closed doors. “Every Dynamo can be proud of this. That is certainly unique in Germany” said Dresden striker Philipp Hosiner. It didn't all go according to plan for 'The Beast from the East' however, as their Bundesliga.2 opponents make short work of the tie, winning 3-0, while a planned choreography involving 30,000 biodegradable balloons had to be cancelled because of high winds before kick-off.