The moment high school sports fans have all been waiting for is fast approaching – the return of live athletic events. As schools welcome back students for another academic year and fans eagerly await the kickoff of another season, athletic directors and administrators can elevate the event experience for staff and fans alike.
Advancements in technology have empowered high schools to manage athletic events just like many professional and collegiate sports organizations. Thousands of high schools nationwide have seen the benefits of going cashless and paperless by embracing digital ticketing. By eliminating paper tickets and the administrative burden that goes along with them, schools can save time, increase revenue, and create meaningful experiences for their communities.
High schools that make the switch to digital ticketing can achieve these key outcomes:
- Provide contactless payment and entry.
As schools continue to navigate safety protocols and emerging guidance on COVID-19, digital ticketing can reduce excessive points of contact. Paper tickets change hands multiple times before being redeemed at the gate, creating unnecessary risk for fans. Paying with cash also poses similar concerns. A Federal Reserve study found that physical currency turns over 55 times per year, or about once a week. There’s no telling how many people have touched a dollar bill by the time it ends up in your cashbox. Now, fans have options to purchase tickets in advance online and pay electronically, minimizing contact and providing more peace of mind.
- Avoid bottlenecks and long lines.
Along with preventing unnecessary contact, digital ticketing for athletics can accelerate the entry process. Rather than having to wait for extended periods of time in long lines, fans can walk straight up to the gate and redeem their tickets in a matter of seconds. To achieve the fastest crowd flow possible, look for a digital ticketing provider that doesn’t require scanning. QR codes can be difficult to scan on phone screens, causing yet another point of contact and inconvenient delays in entry.
- Manage capacity as needed.
Depending on your school’s policies, you may need to limit capacity at some of your events. With digital ticketing, you can easily set limits on the total number of tickets to be sold, break down tickets by type, and encourage social distancing if needed by distributing tickets among different sections of the stadium.
- Elevate your fan experience.
Digital ticketing not only provides reassurance from a safety standpoint but also makes the fan experience more enjoyable. Gone are the days when fans must set aside time in their busy lives to go to the ATM and buy paper tickets at the school. Now, your fans can easily look up your event schedule and purchase tickets in advance online. For fans who would still prefer to purchase tickets at the gate, they can easily do so by completing a simple form on their mobile device.
- Get hours back in your day.
Ticketing is a major element of athletic event management, and it can be extremely time consuming – especially when you have so many other important aspects of your program to focus on. By providing your fans with the ability to purchase tickets online, they will no longer need to visit your school or office in person to buy tickets. Look for a digital ticketing provider that offers a full event administration platform to streamline your scheduling, seating charts, season tickets, and other complicated tasks. With a cohesive digital ticketing and event management platform, you can get hours back in your day and devote even more time to your students.
- Stop counting cash and streamline your bookkeeping.
With so many games and events to manage, it’s easy to get buried in paperwork for reconciliations. Counting cash is inefficient and often error prone, and it can take up valuable time that you could be spending on your program. With digital ticketing, every transaction is instantly accounted for, and you can run transparent financial reports in real time. Not to mention the fact that you’ll no longer have to worry about keeping a full cashbox in your office anymore.
- Save costs on personnel and administration.
Many high school athletic departments must operate with limited budgets and resources for events. With digital ticketing, you can reduce costs on personnel to work at your event, as you’ll no longer need staff members to sell tickets or count cash. It's also possible that you may not need as much security at cashless events.
- Raise more funds for your program.
With a modern digital ticketing solution, you can set the ticket price for each event and keep all ticket revenue. Digital ticketing makes it easier for fans to buy tickets and prevents accounting discrepancies that can arise when counting cash. Look for a digital ticketing provider that covers credit card fees and doesn’t charge for setup.
- Maintain exclusivity with private ticket sales and allocations.
Just because your tickets can be purchased online doesn’t mean they’re available to anyone. You can maintain exclusivity for your events with secure links created for specific groups. You can also allocate a certain number of tickets for away fans to protect your inventory and ensure availability for home fans.
- Customize your ticket sales based on your needs.
Chances are you provide your fans with other options to buy tickets beyond single games. With digital ticketing, you can easily manage reserved seating, season passes, booster club memberships, and more. Not only that, but you can direct all your fans to one place to find the ticketing options they need.
Digital ticketing can dramatically improve your athletic event management and overall experience for your staff and fans. To learn more about how digital ticketing can help your school, check out our case study with Meadowcreek High School linked below, or contact us for more information.