Every single Philadelphia Flyers player, as well as head coach Alain Vigneault, will be in attendance for all Philadelphia Phillies home games. Virtually, of course, and each will have a cardboard cutout in the stands at Citizens Bank Park. The NHL team will be found in Section 242 of the Phillies stadium for the rest of the 2020 season, and t’s all being made possible by one very important member of the Flyers’ squad – Gritty.
Gritty To The Phillies’ Rescue
Gritty, the beloved Philadelphia Flyers orange mascot, will be installing all of the cutouts. Gritty is lucky enough to have so many supporters and the privilege to get the Flyers into the stands. Because of the COVID-19 threat, fans and players need some entertainment, and Gritty is the right choice for the job.
As a way to cheer up those involved in hockey and baseball, a video was released by the Flyers, in which Gritty can be observed putting the finishing touches on the Flyers players and Vigneault in the upper left-field seats. The video transmits emotion and fun, and the introduction of the hockey players intends to be something different for everyone – just the way Gritty likes it.
The video goes on to show Gritty’s best friend, the Phillie Phanatic, the mascot of the Phillies, who comes running down the steps with a cardboard figure of Gritty himself. No wonder, Gritty is encouraged to keep his own cardboard figure at every home game by the Phillies, and he feels gratitude toward the Phillie Phanatic for the gesture. At the end, both mascots exchange a socially-distanced high-five due to the coronavirus pandemic. The video reached over 96,000 views, got 7.1 likes and the two mascots were named “Beauties at the Ballpark.”
Gritty Is Always A Fan Favorite
Gritty is 7 feet tall and is a lovely orange creature with funny eyes who knows how to stir up a crowd. According to some, he kind of looks like the Phillie Phanatic. Gritty was devised by Brian Allen with help from David Raymond, who was the first designer to portray the Phillie Phanatic. Gritty’s first appearance came on September 24, 2018.
Gritty came to life after construction of the Wells Fargo Center was completed, the Flyers home arena and it disturbed his secret hideout. Only a few months after making his debut, Gritty became a famous character, and has appeared on many talk shows, TV programs and ceremonies everywhere.
Fan Cutouts Make A Huge Splash
These cardboard fan, and player, cutouts have become trendy, and they have turned into an effective way to fill sports venues in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since fans aren’t allowed to attend games in order to comply with safety protocols across the nation, they’re a unique way to encourage participation while, at the same time, continuing to draw interest in the stadium and arena atmospheres.
The Phillies decided to fill most of their lower-level seats with fans and frontline healthcare workers during the health crisis. Making creative changes within the stadiums is not only about compensating for the financial losses caused by the pandemic, but also a way to keep alive the spirit of sports.
For example, the Philadelphia Union of MLS came up with the idea of filling the empty seats at Subaru Park with cardboard figures that show adoptable dogs from the Philly region. This is just one interesting way to combat the negative part of the pandemic.
The Flyers, Phillies Look For A Gritty Championship
The top-performing Flyers are in the middle of their Eastern Conference semifinals on the way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are now competing against the New York Islanders after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in Round 1, winning 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The Phillies are 15-15 with still plenty of time left in the season. The team is tied for second with the Miami Marlins and is two games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East standings.