Dayton Love is Blind to connect singles during quarantine

“Dayton Love is relentless. Dayton Love is strong. But is Dayton Love BLIND?”

That’s the question Dayton Sportcial is hoping to answer while local singles are stuck on the dating sidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Netflix hit-series “Love is Blind” inspired the local game. In the TV show, singles are isolated in individual “dating pods” where they get to know the other contestants without ever seeing them.

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Sportcial’s version will be similar, but with contestants dating during a four-day period via the Zoom video chat app. The Sportcial organizers will control the “break-out” rooms, rotating the contestants after a certain amount of time and making sure contestants cannot turn on their cameras.

Spoiler alert — While Netflix’s “Love is Blind” ended in two (so-far) successful marriages, Dayton’s culminating moment will be when someone asks, “Will you join me on an overnight trip?”

“But it would be dope if someone proposes,” according to the Sportcial website. “We have an ordained minister standing by to make it happen.”

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With the coronavirus stay-at-home orders, organizers said the goal for in-person dates is May 1. However that could change depending on the quarantine situation.

Applying is free and the deadline is 4:44 p.m. April 12 on Dayton Sportcial's website,

Raphael Carranza, Sportcial co-founder, said applying takes about 5 minutes and includes recording a short video that only organizers will see to express the reasons you want to participate.

“Instead of the ‘first-look’ being like the show where they run into each other’s arms, this might be unlocking their camera,” Carranza said.

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While the production value might not be great compared to Netflix’s go at dating blindly, Sportcial’s tentative plan to keep non-participants up-to-date with the progress of the contestants is through a Facebook group where viewers can listen-in on some of the dates and see which contestants end up together.

“It’s going to be fun to follow,” Carranza said. “The stories are going to be pretty cool and we’re going to do our best to tell the stories as much as we can.”

To localize the game further, local sponsorships will be available for small businesses. For example, a Dayton-area brewery might provide the drinks for one of the remote date nights and viewers will see the contestants drinking the brewery’s beer during the date.

“These are just a bunch of people in our community that want to put something together that will bring us together,” Carranza said. “And maybe something might fall out of it.”

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