At One NFL Game, 1.8K Familiar Faces

Cardboard cutouts from 'South Park' filled stadium for Broncos-Buccaneers game
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2020 4:31 AM CDT
Broncos Get Creative to Fill Seats
Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform as two human fans sit among cardboard characters from the show "South Park" during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Denver.   (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

There were far fewer humans in the stands at Denver's Empower Field at Mile High stadium on Sunday for the Broncos' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that doesn't mean there weren't plenty of fans on hand—and most of the faces likely looked familiar to those watching at home. Per ESPN, more than 1,800 cardboard cutouts representing characters from the show South Park were spread throughout the stadium, an attempt to fill seats, as only 5,700 real fans were allowed to attend the game due to COVID-19 restrictions. The stand-in spectators, all masked, came to be after the home team's marketing department contacted Comedy Central and South Park Studios to see if they could buy Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and others.

It's not a random connection: The Hollywood Reporter notes that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, both Colorado natives, are also both big Broncos fans. The pair met at the University of Colorado, which is where they created their now-famous cartoon characters. The cutouts were scattered across five sections of the stadium. Meanwhile, South Park will debut "The Pandemic Special" on Comedy Central on Wednesday. NME notes it's the show's first hourlong episode. (More Denver Broncos stories.)

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