COVID-19-safe football drive-in to open for Superliga fans
Danish football club FC Midtjylland is planning to open a football drive-in at the club’s MCH Arena for live streaming of Superliga games played behind close doors, enabling fans to enjoy a ‘stadium experience’ while remaining isolated from other football fans.
The games will be presented on two giant screens in its car park, providing more than 2,000 spaces for social-distance friendly live football entertainment.
Fans will be able to tune in to TV commentary through car radios to keep up with live coverage of the action, with live footage of the car park being broadcast inside the MCH Arena to allow the players to experience the fans’ reactions from a safe distance.
The screens will be installed in separate locations, with specific areas for home and away fans.
The installation will be carried out by ProShop Europe, who have been supplying FC Midtjylland at the MCH Arena since 2010, installing custom made ProShop Europe LED screens, with an approximately 80-90 square metres LED screen on one side and a 46 square metre mobile rental screen supplied by three 20 square metres of trailer screens.
Audio is distributed through car radios, with the possibility of a sound system being installed in the future, with considerations being made for the delay caused by the radio.
The installation will not be without its challenges, especially pertaining to the sun's effect on the screens and visitors as Jens Carstensen, CEO ProShop Eurpoe "We talked a lot about the direction of the screens, because if a game is played late in the day then the sun will be in the west, so we cannot point them in that direction, but if we turned them around then you would have the sun shining directly into the cars. We need to put the screens facing north. so we are working on that."
There will also be prizes for ‘best dressed’ cars in club colours as part of a car carnival, with a parade through the local town, with the prize for the best car being the best position in the car park to watch the match.
The screens usage will not be limited to football matches, with the possibility of additional events to take place whilst social-distancing measures are still in place in Denmark. Carstensen: "We are talking with local people who want to make a drive-in cinema evening using the same screens, so we are allowing them to use the screens in the days in-between football matches."
"We have other solutions coming up, I have one club who is talking about making screens along the sidelines, allowing people watching from home to appear on the screen as an 'in stadium' audience so they can be seen on the TV, coming up with comments to make the audience to make the audience interactive.
"They are also booking to make the car carnival next year, as so many people are happy about it, so why not make it an event every year?"
The Superliga is currently due to restart on 17 May, with the season finishing by the end of July.
Speaking to the BBC, Preben Rokkjaer, marketing director, FC Midtjylland explained: "We are working hard to create the best possible experience.
"We have a stated goal of creating the best stadium experience. Coronavirus does not change that, it just provides some other preconditions."