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German minnows Lokomotive Leipzig sell 100,000 virtual tickets

German fourth-tier football club Lokomotive Leipzig has raised more than €100,000 after selling 30 times more tickets than its usual attendance for a virtual game due to take place next month.

The club has sold an incredible 100,000 tickets at €1 each for the May 8 game, which was announced on March 19 as a fundraiser to keep the club running amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of today (Wednesday), Lokomotive Leipzig has sold 113,065 e-tickets, despite average crowds of just 3,225 in the 2019-20 season at its 15,600-capacity Bruno-Plache-Stadion.

The club is aiming to hit 120,000 virtual ticket sales, which matches its attendance for its 1987 UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final home leg against Bordeaux.

During the most recent season, which has been suspended due to Covid-19, Lok’s highest crowd was 4,498 against Energie Cottbus. The club’s average matchday revenue is around €30,000.

A spokesperson for the club told BBC Sport that its plans for the event remains a secret, adding: “There’s going to be a live stream from the stadium, the floodlights will be switched on and our internet radio commentators will be working on the game. I can’t tell you more at the moment.”

He continued: “The money will be used to keep Lok running – we have 300 youth players, we need to pay the staff and look after the facilities.”

The club won the first German championship in 1903 as VfB Leipzig, and made regular appearances in European competition in the 1960s through to the 1980s.

Last week, German third-tier football club KFC Uerdingen announced it was selling virtual home tickets to generate income amid the Covid-19 events shutdown.

The 3.Liga club is looking to sell out the 34,500 ‘seats’ at its at its home ground of Krefeld Grotenburg, which is currently being rebuilt so Uerdingen has been playing home matches elsewhere this season.