German third-tier soccer club Dynamo Dresden says it sold more than 72,000 tickets for a game played in an empty stadium with no fans.

Former East German champion Dynamo offered fans the “ghost tickets” – named for the German habit of dubbing empty-stadium matches “ghost games” – for €5 as a way to raise funds for the club during the coronavirus pandemic. Fans could receive a commemorative ticket to keep.

Dynamo's Philipp Hosiner (left) in action against Darmstadt's Lars Lukas Mai.

Dynamo’s Philipp Hosiner (left) in action against Darmstadt’s Lars Lukas Mai.Credit:AP

The total of 72,112 tickets sold for the German Cup game against Darmstadt was more than double the capacity of Dresden’s stadium. Only two games in the club’s history, both away games, had more people in attendance, Dresden said.

Dresden lost the game 3-0 to Darmstadt, who play a division above Dynamo in the league.

German clubs have pioneered innovative fundraising ideas after the pandemic hurt teams’ incomes.

When German soccer shut down in the spring, third-tier club Uerdingen sold “virtual tickets” for a fictional game. Top-division side Borussia Monchengladbach offered fans the chance to have their photos printed onto cardboard cutouts for home games, an idea quickly copied by sports teams around the world.


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