Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, most sports have found ways to continue playing. In many cases, it means players and coaches on the field or court doing what they do in front of no fans. However, as we've seen over the past several months, several sports leagues have found creative ways to try and replicate the game day experience even though there's no one there watching. Most pipe in crowd noise over the sound system. The NBA put fans in the stands virtually through video conferencing software, while others have filled seats with cardboard cutouts of alumni, TV and movie characters, and even fans of the teams themselves. The University of Evansville is taking the latter route by giving you a chance to be inside the Ford Center for upcoming home games without actually being in the Ford Center for upcoming home games.

The University announced during a joint press conference with Mayor Lloyd Winnecke a couple of weeks ago, a maximum of 500 "attendees" would be allowed inside the Ford Center during home basketball games. Outside of players, coaches, and other essential staff members for both teams, those attendees include "a limited number of UE students, home and visiting team families and guests as determined by the NCAA and the Missouri Valley Conference, designated game day personnel, current Aces Assist Members, and other contractually obligated partners."

If you don't fall into one of those categories, then sorry, the chances of you being able to watch the team in person is slim to none.

But, even though you may not be able to be there in person, a cardboard cutout version of you can be there in your place to show the team and the program they have your full support. According to the UE Athletics website, the cost of the cutout depends on where you'd like it placed inside the arena. Endzone "seats" (behind each basket) and front row sideline seats that won't be seen during TV broadcasts of games will run you $50, while non-front row sideline seats that will be visible on TV are going for $75, and front row sideline visible on TV will cost you $100.

For an additional $15, you can have your cutout autographed by UE Men's head coach, Todd Lickliter.

Once the season is over, you'll be able to pick up your cardboard cutout self at the Carson Center on the UE campus, or you can have it shipped to you for an additional fee.

In a press release sent Monday morning, Assistant Athletic Director, Bob Pristash says money raised from the sales of the cutouts will go directly to the Athletics Department, but did not offer specifics on what the funds would be used for exactly.

To see what the cutouts will look like, and to order yours, visit the UE Athletics website.

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