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Sports Teams Are Phasing Out Hard Tickets; Why?

Thursday, December 18, 2014   (0 Comments)

Chicago Tribune (12/05/14) Hopkins, Jared

The White Sox and other major sports franchises are eliminating hard paper tickets in favor of digital tickets that can be printed off computers or displayed on smartphones for scanning, which angers fans and collectors who cherish hard tickets for their sentimental and nostalgic value. "Tickets...[are] like tiny time capsules and you can relive those moments again," says Professional Sports Authenticator president Joe Orlando. Meanwhile, some people think hard tickets will not be completely phased out, but the digitization of tickets could make them less plentiful and thus more valuable. Teams and industry experts say the choice to go paperless is designed to make ticket transfer easier as well as thwart fraud or ticket counterfeiting. "It gives people the option to use mobile ticketing where they don't have to use a ticket at all," notes White Sox executive Brooks Boyer. Experts see the transition to digital as a natural progression as consumers increasingly embed technology into their everyday lives and as teams look for a competitive advantage from a marketing standpoint. "It allows them to see what people are buying," says Northwestern University professor Irving Rein. "They're trying to have a better customer experience and it gives them access to material and information they never had before."

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