The Denver Broncos had some special guests in the stands for Sunday's game: the entire cast of South Park.
The AFC West club included cutouts of every character from the Comedy Central show attached to seats in the stadium on Sunday. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, the team unveiled the characters, including some new ones, at Empower Field at Mile High in honor of the long-running animated comedy set in a fictional Colorado town. Denver also added a large backdrop of the South Park town itself.
The report added that the unusual group of fans helped support a good cause. The cost of the production of the cardboard cutouts was donated to The Broncos Foundation, which operates a number of charitable efforts.
The program's creators have a close connection to the city and to the Broncos, the report added.
"Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are huge Broncos fans as they both grew up in the state and met at the University of Colorado, Boulder which is where they brainstormed South Park," The Hollywood Reporter noted.
"The characters in the show also love the Broncos and the team has gotten shoutouts and player name-drops several times since the 1997 pilot."Parker and Stone have incorporated the state's other athletic franchises into the comedy program, including an episode in which the town's peewee hockey team gets the chance to play in place of the Colorado Avalanche.
The special guests at Sunday's contest captured some viral interest, thanks in part to the show's own promotion. The official South Park Twitter account shared pictures of the cutouts filling the stadium, getting a big reaction from fans and some praise for the unique promotion.The Broncos are one of a number of professional sports teams that have found creative ways to fill stands that otherwise sit empty due to restraints from the coronavirus. While there was no attendance for any Major League Baseball contests this year, a number of franchises offered promotions where supporters could pay a fee to have a blown-up picture of themselves put into seats.
The NFL has allowed its franchises to let supporters attend contests, though on a very restricted basis and with strict rules to ensure social distancing. The Broncos allowed people inside Empower Field at Mile High for the first time this season, allowing more than 5,000 people to join the South Park townspeople to watch the Broncos lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.