Sports arenas across the country are getting creative to accommodate social distancing in the stands. The latest stunt comes from the Denver Broncos, where an entire section at their home at Empower Field at Mile High is filled with South Park townsfolk cutouts in advance of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the hour-long 24th season premiere called "The Pandemic Special." Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who are huge fans of the team, donated them to the Broncos Foundation, according to Comedy Central. Social distancing regulations require people to stay outside six feet from one another. The cutouts show the characters all donning masks.
South Park Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on Their Relationship with the Denver Broncos
Stone and Parker grew up in Colorado and met at the University of Colorado. Their animated series South Park is the longest-running non-broadcast animated series on television. The only other such series with a longer tenure is The Simpsons on Fox, which just premiered its 32nd season on Sunday. In a tongue-in-cheek moment, the duo shot a promo for NFL Network recalling their history as Broncos fans growing up falling short four times before South Park premiered in 1997 on Comedy Central. As the show achieved success, as did the team with Parker and Stone saying, "The Broncos never thanked us." The series' posted where the cutouts are placed at one of the two endzones on Twitter. The Broncos also posted a video of the cutouts. According to Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado, the "citizens" accompanied the 5,700 socially distanced fans who saw the Broncos crushed 28-10 in a loss against the Buccaneers. It obviously didn't help Denver, who was without their starting quarterback Drew Lock and star receiver Cortland Sutton, out for the remainder of the 2020 season with a torn ACL.