NBA basketball franchise the Miami Heat has become the first team in the league to implement mobile-only ticket entry to its AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat has announced that it will not issue paper tickets during the 2017-18 season and beyond.

Therefore, fans looking to attend a game would need to download the Miami Heat mobile app, or use Ticketmaster’s website, to present their tickets to arena employees who will scan a code and grant access.

Those who purchase tickets on the day of a game are also included in the change, in which they would receive an update in the app, rather than a paper ticket.

In a statement, the Heat reported that more than one in three fans entered games using a mobile ticket during the 2016-17 season.

The mobile tickets are still transferable although, according to ESPN, critics say it’s not a simple process and fans no longer have a physical keepsake from the game.

The Heat said in its statement that ticket transfers will take 15 minutes from the time of transfer for it to complete. It has also implemented a contingency plan if a person’s phone is lost, stolen or otherwise not in use before a game, in which fans would need to wait in a line at a specific box office using a photo ID to gain access.

While other NBA teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers have a mobile-only policy, their arenas still permit fans to enter using their driver’s licence and a credit card.

According to ESPN, teams claim to be shifting to a mobile ticketing system to reduce the number of incidents of fraud, as well as gaining access to fan data.

Image: Miami Heat