That’s because national football officials have decreed that no fans can attend the game as a punishment to the team for violence during a November 19 match.
Hansa Rostock fans were accused of rioting that left eight police officers and two fans injured during a 3-1 loss at home to St. Pauli. They also allegedly shot fireworks at St. Pauli supporters, causing a brief hold-up in play.
The financially-ailing club says losses from missed ticket sales could hit hundreds of thousands of euros, and is therefore asking fans to buy tickets for the so-called “ghost game” anyway.
Those who shell out up to €19.65 will get a “virtual ticket,” as well as other perks, like a limited-edition button commemorating the game. The team is also selling t-shirts specially made for the game.
So far about 2,000 “virtual tickets” have been sold, although that figure doesn’t include pending purchases or people who previously purchased tickets for the game but have not returned them for a refund. Hansa Rostock’s stadium seats about 30,000 people.
“The goal is to play a sold out ‘ghost game,’ ” said Hansa Rostock executive Stefan Beinlich. “That would really be great.”