Digital Ticketing

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Digital Ticketing

Postby MBRRadio » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:05 pm

Mark Koski, the CEO of the NFHS Network, said high schools in 38 states now offer online ticketing options. A year ago, there were 28 states.

“There’s a lot more interest in this nowadays,” he said. “It’s a trend of the times.”

Koski estimated that “several thousand” high schools across the country use online ticketing. The NFHS works with Huddle, an online ticket company based in Georgia, to partner with state associations, such as the MPA, to sell electronic tickets for their state championship events. Any online ticket purchase also involves a service fee. Huddle also provides paper tickets, free of charge, to all its partners.

“We know there are fans who want paper tickets, so that’s still an option,” said Koski. “But there are still a good number of schools that have gone strictly to the electronic tickets.”

The MPA has been offering digital tickets for three years. Mike Burnham, the MPA’s executive director, said he notices a big difference in championship events.

“I’ve seen it happen in state championship hockey games,” he said. “The line to get in is wrapped around the corner, people arriving 15 minutes before the game is supposed to begin. If they’re told they can go to this website and buy a ticket, you see people peeling out of the line.”

There is a link on the MPA’s home page to purchase digital tickets.

The MPA cannot offer digital tickets to events at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland or Cross Insurance Center in Bangor because both are affiliated with Ticketmaster. But digital tickets can be used at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium, the Portland Expo, the Augusta Civic Center, St. Joseph’s College or any of the high school sites used for state title games. A separate entrance is set up for digital tickets, where they are scanned.

“It’s just a convenient way to not stand in line and still get tickets,” said Burnham. “It’s seamless.”

Huddle still provides paper tickets to about 10,000 high schools. But BJ Pilling, the executive director of GoFan (Huddle’s online mobile app), sees a swing toward digital ticketing. He estimated that around 2,000 high schools use the GoFan platform, most located in football hotbeds such as the Southeast or West Coast.

Digital ticketing slowly makes its way to Maine high school sports: The trend is catching on nationally, but Scarborough High is the only school in southern Maine to use digital ticketing for its athletic events -
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