Penn State embraces paperless ticketing

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State is all but eliminating paper tickets for its sports venues as the fall season begins.

The university previously announced it would be fully transitioning to digital ticketing at Beaver Stadium for the 2019 season, although paper tickets were delivered to season ticket holders this year.

Fans may now access their digital tickets on a mobile device using the Ticketmaster app or by downloading them to their mobile wallet. As a result, print-at-home PDF tickets will no longer be accepted for entry at Penn State home games, the university and Ticketmaster said in a press release.

The goal, according to the release, is to significantly reduce ticket fraud and create an even more seamless venue entry experience for fans.

Kris Peterson, Penn State’s assistant athletic director for strategic communication, said there will still be an option for fans who do not possess the technology for digital ticketing.

“Fans who do not own a smartphone can have their tickets printed at the ticket office on game day with photo ID,” Peterson said.

Although the transition eliminates most paper tickets, Peterson said the university recognizes that there are situations where that will not work — for example, companies who own blocks of tickets that are given to clients, employees or in contests.

“We still print tickets for certain situations — we have not completely eliminated printed tickets,” Peterson said. “Digital ticketing has become our primary ticket delivery system for single-game tickets, but other methods are used, as well to accommodate fan needs.”

Most fans, though, will have to adapt to digital ticketing, which is similarly exclusive in a number of sports and entertainment venues. Fans still are able to transfer a ticket to another party, using the Ticketmaster app or the Penn State Account Manager.

“Ticketmaster is the only official verified resale partner of Penn State Athletics,” Peterson said. “Fans can use their discretion as to which platform they choose to use for resale. However, Penn State Athletics is unable to verify tickets on any other resale platform.”

Penn State will be the first college to leverage SafeTix — a technology that generates a new ticket barcode each time a ticket is sold or transferred — for all students at upcoming 2019 football games at Beaver Stadium. Each ticket is tied uniquely to the student’s identity and account. Students can also save their ticket in their mobile wallet and be granted access through an efficient NFC-enabled tap and go action.

Numerous Olympic sports at Penn State are going a step further, transitioning to electronic season-ticket cards.

“Penn State announced earlier this week RFID season ticket cards will become the season ticket delivery method for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s hockey, women’s volleyball and wrestling for the 2019-20 season,” Peterson said. “Digital ticketing is also the primary delivery method for single-game tickets in these sports, as well.”

Tickets for State College Spikes baseball games will not be part of this change, team spokesman Joe Putnam said. The Spikes control their box office at Medlar Field, a facility shared with Penn State, and use an alternate system for online ticket sales.

“For more than a decade, Ticketmaster has partnered with Penn State Athletics to create the best sporting event experiences for their fans,” Tim Martin, senior vice president of college athletics at Ticketmaster, North America, said in the release. “We’re proud to work with a partner who’s at the forefront of new technology adoption within college athletics. We can’t wait to bring our latest products to Penn State fans at the start of the new season.”

For Penn State ticketholders, Digital Ticketing overview and other frequently asked questions are available at: GoPSUsports.com/ticketmanagement.