Industry News

Chiefs on track to implement 100% digital ticketing

The Kansas City Chiefs are on track to move to 100 per cent mobile ticketing “in the near future,” the NFL team’s president revealed.

All single-game tickets were distributed digitally throughout the second half of the Chiefs’ last season. In addition, all playoff tickets purchased by non-season ticket holders were fully mobile, indicating a rapid move towards fully paperless ticketing.

By the end of the season, it was reported that more than 40 per cent of those entering Arrowhead Stadium did so using their phones instead of paper or print-at-home tickets, team president Mark Donovan said.

“It forced (fans) to adapt,” said Donovan, according to the Kansas City Star, who added the Chiefs implemented the change so they could test the technology before ramping up efforts to get fans to download tickets digitally in 2018.

Donovan said the Chiefs hope to see the number of mobile-ticket users increase to 70 per cent next year, largely because the team plans to promote the method more in hopes of expediting fans’ entrance to the stadium.

“I spent about an hour and a half at our last home game last year as a ticket-taker because I wanted to see how it worked, and it was awful,” Donovan said with a chuckle. “But once I figured out how to scan … paper tickets, they’re a pain in the butt. It’s hard, they’re wrinkled, they’re wet. The phones are the best. They read a lot quicker.

“It really hit me — that ticketing staff, those people at that gate, some of them had been in there 20 years,” Donovan said. “Fans were coming in and they would choose their gate by the ticket taker. They’d go, ‘Hey!’ and high-five and do their handshakes. I got to witness that and see the value in that.”

Ticket buyers will also see an expansion on the popular Bud Light Gameday Pass, which debuted last season. The 2,000 available tickets, which were mobile only and provided fans with randomly selected upper-deck seats, sold out in a matter of weeks.

Donovan said the Chiefs can’t confirm how many seats they will make available for the programme, but projected “more than double” of what was sold last season.

“The demand was incredible,” Donovan said. “And it worked really well.”

However, he noted: “Across the league, you’re seeing some reduction in total season tickets. Last year we went down a little bit in season tickets, but we went up in total tickets sold, and that goes back to the fan.

“We’re getting a lot better at selling single-game tickets. There are teams in this league that I talk to a lot that have strategically, every single year, reduced the size of their seating, and they’ve done it because they want the experience to be better, because they want to create more opportunities for different experiences.

“So they take out seats to create a social platform. But you’ve got to continue to drive value there.”

Image: Brood_wich