English Premier League champions Manchester City are to scrap physical season tickets in favour of mobile passes ahead of the new season.
The Etihad Stadium club is to implement mobile ticketing after trialling systems in the final game of the 2020-21 season and some three years after partnering with mobile-focused SeatGeek.
City officials have outlined several measures to assist fans amid the changeover before they begin the defence of their title in August.
The club said it will host several drop-in sessions during August for those requiring help, while the club has installed battery charging stations to ensure fans’ mobile devices can be used to gain entry. They said any iPhone 6 or above, and most recent Android mobile phone devices are compatible with mobile ticketing.
Fans without a mobile phone can load their season ticket on to a device owned by a friend or relative. They can also request a print-at-home ticket, with their pass sent to their online account as downloadable attachment. Those who do not have a printer can request to pick up a ticket from the club’s stadium in the days before the game.
The club said fans can download the season ticket to their phone before the first game of the season with a wifi or mobile data signal not necessary thereafter.
Not everyone is pleased with the development, of course…
Although many fans believe it is a natural progression…
This is simple common sense. Give people the option to keep using paper tickets if that's what they want. These tickets sometimes even have sentimental values— ENA (@9320City) July 29, 2021
City officials said the deployment of mobile ticketing reduces the risk of lost and stolen tickets, and provides flexibility to transfer tickets digitally to friends and family.
Fans can switch their ticket to people on their Friends & Family list should they not be able to attend a game. They can also still list their pass on the club’s Ticket Exchange.
When initially signing with SeatGeek in 2018, City officials said they had ambitions to develop ticketing, membership and corporate hospitality solutions, and selected SeatGeek and its SRO platform following a detailed review of the sports ticketing market.
Danny Wilson, operations director at Manchester City, said at the time: “At Manchester City we’re committed to developing the fan experience in all aspects of our operation, and see our ticketing systems as an integral part of this.
“SeatGeek are a recognised industry leader with an excellent track record of providing innovative ticketing software, so we’re incredibly excited to kick-off this new partnership.”