The university recently announced that only 2,500 UM students will be allowed to attend each home football game. Instead of a packed stadium, Ole Miss Athletics will give Rebel fans a chance to see themselves as cardboard cutouts in every football, volleyball and soccer home game for $55.
Through the new Home Team initiative, fans can purchase cutouts to sit in empty seats inside Vaught-Hemingway, the Gillom Athletics Performance Center and the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. The proceeds from this campaign will go toward the Ole Miss scholarship fund for Rebel student-athletes.
The trend comes after Major League Baseball (MLB) teams did the same thing with their empty stadium seats. Since fans play a big role in the tone of the game, MLB leadership said they figured a cutout could serve as a way to have a fan presence without fans physically being at the ballpark.
Professional programs like the Los Angeles Dodgers have raised over $1.5 million since they began charging $149 for cutouts in field level seats and $299 for outfield and behind the plate seats.
All Rebel fans have to do is send a high-resolution photo of themselves, a family member or even their pet online before Sept. 14 for soccer, Sept. 18 for football and Oct. 9 for volleyball. According to Ole Miss Athletics, photos must include Ole Miss attire and creativity is highly encouraged. .
For the first 500 photo orders, cutouts will be placed in easily visible locations like behind the field goal posts in Vaught-Hemingway. Others will sit in the lower bowl.
Select cutouts will be signed by Lane Kiffin, Matt Mott and Kayla Banwarth at the end of their home seasons, and some will even be visible during television broadcasts throughout the season. Fans will be allowed to pick up their cutout at the end of the fall season.