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Raccoons get front row seats to 2020 US Open
Published Sep 09, 2020
With no fans allowed at this year's US Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the famous Flushing Meadows stands and stadiums are jarringly empty. While fans lament the loss of their US Open traditions and the end of their attendance streaks, some crafty locals have invaded the empty stadiums.
Raccoons have infiltrated the once bustling grounds, with sightings everywhere from side courts to Author Ashe Stadium. With fans not around, the raccoons have embraced the responsibility of adding energy and atmosphere to the matches, remarkably without any bias.
The sightings have become so popular that there is even a Twitter account dedicated to the trash pandas.
Tennis media, players and spectators have seen a lot of critters show up for matches including cats, bugs, birds and even iguanas, but raccoons are a new one.
Reporter Blair Henley has gotten in on the fun, counting "raccoon sightings" as her new favorite pastime.
Some might call them pests, others will say they are this year's most dedicated fans. While human fans continue to be stuck watching from home, mammal fans will continue to have front-row seats all week long.