COLUMBUS — Ohio State, which announced last week it was going entirely to digital tickets and eliminating paper tickets for football and every other sport, is not alone in making that tradition-breaking move.
Oklahoma, Boston College and Rutgers have all decided to go all digital either for all sports or for football in the last few weeks. Auburn says it will be all digital for only football. And Oklahoma has even made parking passes all digital.
Ohio State announced it is going to mobile only ticketing in an email to football season ticket holders last week.
OSU season ticket holders have previously had the option of putting their tickets on their smart phone but it will be mandatory this year. Arrangements for fans who do not have a smart phone will be announced later.
“We are excited to implement digital-only ticketing at our venues and believe it will help us achieve the goal of providing a safe game day experience for everyone,” Ohio State deputy athletic director Diana Sabau said in a press release. “Digital ticketing will allow for contactless entry for fans while also providing flexibility to easily manage their tickets. It will also allow us to better respond to the dynamics surrounding COVID-19 and our increased safety precautions.”
When contacted by The Lima News, Sabau also said, “We started utilizing mobile/digital ticket options in some capacity two years ago. We felt it could reduce the prevalence of counterfeit tickets and it also provided a flexible set of options, including mobile entry, transfer to friends and an ability to sell on Ohio State TicketExchange.
“We went to full mobile-only ticketing for this year for all our venues because of this flexibility and also because of the safety factor of contactless entry.”
She also said there would be a printing cost savings by going to digital tickets.
Flexibility could become very important if Ohio State plays before reduced crowds because of guidelines related to COVID-19.
In late May, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said that if social distancing rules in place at that time were used, only around 20,000 fans would be in Ohio Stadium for home games. If the rules were relaxed, maybe 40,000 to 50,000 fans would be there, he said.
Moving where people sit or raising or lowering the number of people who can get into games, possibly even during the season would be easier to do digitally than with paper tickets.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.