Virtual Viewer


Leo Gast, Contributor

Fans and players alike have experienced the challenges of the Covid pandemic.  Players have begun to come back to play, and the fans, they have returned too, virtually. Here is the story of 18 year old fan, Auron Hernandez.

Auron received an emailed invitation from the basketball team, Miami Heat. The email explained that they had an upcoming game against the Milwaukee Bucks, and they had limited spots available for fans to watch the game virtually and be seen in the stands by the players. 

“It sounded like a lot of fun, but I couldn’t imagine what it might be like.  I really hoped to win a spot.”  He received the acceptance email with the information to join in the virtual live feed.  He was given a time and a password into the games viewer list. 

“I was nervous because I hadn’t done this before.  But it actually was just like going to school these days.”

When the time came, he logged into Microsoft Teams, and he and the rest of the spectators were all admitted into the meeting. It was like a regular Teams meeting, all the fans/viewers could see each other, and they were being screen shared a live feed of the games.

 “It was definitely different, the feed we were watching was ahead of the TV version. Plus we could talk to the other fans that were in our Teams group. The players couldn’t hear us though.  I wish they could have.  I was yelling anyway.”

The stadium the Heat were playing at was customized with lots of screens. They took out some of the sideline chairs and replaced them with large human sized screens. Anyone who has the fortune to receive a spot is put onto the screen through the app Microsoft Teams.

Auron was thrilled. “It’s kind of amazing seeing people adapt to their surroundings”

Auron says the game was awesome; his team won against the Milwaukee Bucks which he definitely enjoyed. He recommends that everyone should try to become a viewer. “I’m going to try to win more spots to see upcoming games.  It was a great time.”

Here is a way to become a virtual viewer: First off unfortunately not all teams do this virtual viewing experience, it costs money to set up these large human sized screens which makes teams reluctant to achieve this goal. Sign up to be on the team’s email list and watch for the invitations, prioritizing the team’s email is a good strategy.  Reply as quickly as possible to better the chance of receiving the invitation.  The invitation will have the link and instructions. It is important that spectators have Microsoft teams or whichever platform the team chooses to use in order to participate. Then comes the easy part, signing in on the proper date and time.