I just bought a ticket to attend my first ever professional football match via Zoom.
It’s as intriguing as it is exciting to see how this might work — or not work, as it were. Any bets on servers crashing or the over/under on the number of fans showing something they shouldn’t be instead?
There’s also the chance that this will work gloriously, and light the way forward for how we can make football work (a bit better) during these pandemic times.
Kick-off is set for Thursday, May 28, at 19.00 local time. AGF Aarhus, the local side, will take on Randers FC in the first match of the Danish SuperLeague’s restart.
(We may remember that Danish scientists conducted a study about the actual amount of physical contact during a match that helped propel the return of football in the country and elsewhere in Europe as well.)
“It will be the first tournament match in a long time. We are celebrating that with a historic digital initiative, and we are proud to be the first club in the world to use it. Now it seems that we have to do without spectators for a while, so maybe we can inspire a similar initiative at other clubs that can also benefit from it in the coming time”
-Jacob Nielsen, AGF CEO; source: AGF via Google Translate
It’s not completely clear how exactly the Zoom conference will be set up. There are 22 sections to choose from, including some reserved for away fans as well as neutral fans. I’m assuming there will be a video camera set up on each section that will stream the view to all the fans who bought tickets in that section? Tickets are limited. (There’s a QR code on the ticket.)
Meanwhile, several screens will be set up around the pitch for players to celebrate in front and maybe even hear some fan noise? (AGF are also selling cardboard cutouts for fans to customize and have placed in the stands. Creativity’s encouraged!)
Again, the possibilities for failure are numerous and some quite hilarious. But it could also be fun and maybe even cool.
Oh, and the tickets are free!