INDIANAPOLIS — The stands at Lucas Oil Stadium will be packed with fans for the Final Four, but not all of them will be screaming and shouting. In an effort to raise money for charity, as well as improve social distancing — fan cutouts will be placed throughout the arena.
“It’s also worked as a social distancing tool for fans allowed to be at the stadium as these are placed every other row,” explained Taylor Gaussoin, co-founder of FanCutouts.com.
“Fans will sit around them as well. If you purchased a cutout, you will be there the whole time. As the two teams for the final are determined, we will shuffle some of the fans for those teams in the student sections forward to the front.”
What the cut out company didn’t expect was the large number of memorial cutouts for fans who have passed away.
“Especially for this Final Four, we have seen so many touching notes of someone who was a lifelong Butler fan or something like that,” detailed Gaussoin. “So that individual can watch one more game.”
The cutouts will go in at both the men’s and women’s Final Four. A portion of the sales will go to various charities including the United Way of Central Indiana.
“NCAA contacted us as the excitement of the tournament was kicking off,” explained Peter Hanscom, vice president of marketing and digital engagement with the United Way of Central Indiana.
“We are incredibly excited to tell not only the story of United Way, but about all of our partners as a whole. At this point we are working to figure out, as we move forward toward a long lasting recovery and rebound, what system need to be in place. Even before COVID-19 struck Indiana there were 216,000 households in our community who were in poverty or one financial emergency from it.”
Wednesday was supposed to be the last day to buy a cutout from FanCutouts.com. The company says they may keep it open longer if they have more space for more fans.
“We are running out of capacity here,” chuckled Gaussoin. “We have thousands that have gone in.”