By: Kay Liu
Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League opened its 2020 season on April 12, with all games played behind closed doors to adhere to the government's social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the empty stands, the four teams playing in the league found an online audience, broadcast in English, at a time when most professional sports events around the world have been disrupted or even scrapped altogether.
In addition to the games themselves, the teams' responses to the empty stands, including planting cardboard cutouts imitating fans, as well as the actions of their cheerleading squads, all caught attention, both at home and abroad.
The Taoyuan-based Rakuten Monkeys first came up with the idea of filling the empty stands with cardboard cutouts and mannequins to imitate the presence of fans. [FULL STORY]