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Photos: Virtual Crowd For Soccer Game On ESPN Is Going Viral

A general view of a soccer stadium from the vantage point of the goal.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

In this age of COVID-19, we're seeing leagues get creative in regards to fan atmosphere when actual people are not allowed to attend games.

We've seen artificial crowd noise be pumped in, but what we're seeing during today's Coppa Italia final is something altogether different, and it has the attention of those watching.

The match between Juventus and Napoli is being played at historic Stadio Olimpico in Rome and is televised on ESPN. Fans watching at home have had the pleasure (?) of seeing what a computer-generated crowd looks like at a sporting event.

Sections of the crowd are divided up by colors--blue, white, red and green--and feature what appears to be computer-created fans waving colored placards.

We have to admit, it is really, really weird seeing these graphics in real time. The moving of the fake signs by the fake fans can be kind of trippy if you allow yourself to focus on it.

Either way, it is fun to see sports back in any capacity. Also, as games return without fans, we'd expect to see more experimenting from leagues as they try to provide as real an experience as possible.

What would you like to see them try?