World Series baseball champions the Chicago Cubs are to phase out print-at-home tickets in a bid to crack down on counterfeiting.
The Major League Baseball (MLB) team said that hundreds of fans who had purchased fake tickets were turned away from Wrigley Field during post-season games in 2016.
Single-game customers can now choose to get their ticket mailed or through the MLB Ballpark smartphone app.
The Chicago Cubs said more information on mobile ticketing and StubHub resales will be available when single-game tickets go on sale in February.
The growth of the mobile option will offer commercial benefits to the Cubs, as Colin Faulkner, senior vice-president of sales and marketing, told ChicagoBusiness.com: “Hopefully we can use that to then customize our communications with fans, if we have a better insight into their buying habits. All fans are different, and we want to make sure we’re sending them the right communications, the right information.”
In October, the Chicago Cubs went so far as to offer pointers on how to spot fake tickets, while still recommending that fans avoid the risk by using the affiliated StubHub website for secondhand buys.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the team was working persistently to address the issue of scalping: “It can be a problem at times.”
Ricketts also said the team monitors its database of season ticket holders and “we try to weed those people out” by removing them. He added: “It’s really hard to control,” he added. “We try to keep real tickets in the hands of real fans, but it’s not as easy as it looks.”