Athletics to eliminate paper tickets
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 23:03
Through a partnership with the Division of Athletics, the One Card Office expects to debut a student ticket system integrated into the student I.D. card for varsity sporting events by Fall 2013.
Pitched to Athletics in August last year before the start of the football season, the idea was met with enthusiasm from individuals in both offices. The One Card Office was told at the time that it would take at least a year to see the system implemented.
“I think that it’s great for students,” One Card Office Manager Stephanie Kernozicky said. “[Athletics] recognizes that too. It’s just a matter of [when they] can make it work.”
The only questions remaining to be answered mainly deal with the practical application of the transition. Primarily, Athletics is determining how to address necessary changes to the student ticket lottery and the buying of multiple sets of season tickets, two things that will be affected by the transition.
Andrew Paluch, a 2nd-semester chemical engineering major, was enthusiastic when he heard about the possible transition. Aside from the positive financial and environmental aspects associated with the shift, he said that this could make attending games much more convenient for students.
Paluch did, however, express some disappointment in the transition since students will no longer be able to save tickets from their favorite games of the season.
“I like to collect tickets, so I don’t like to see that happen,” he said. “But then again, it makes it easier on some part that you don’t have to worry about getting the ticket. It’s always on your card.”
One other concern Paluch expressed was the possibility of a fee being imposed on tickets exchanged through the Athletics website. He cited Michigan State as an example, saying that they charge a $5 fee on any ticket exchange. UConn’s current online ticket exchange policy does include a $5 fee as well, which could have a significant impact on the sharing of tickets between students.
The transition between the technology Athletics currently utilizes at sporting events and what would need to be put in place is minimal, Kernozicky said. This was one of the key factors in the push by Athletics to have it integrated by the start of the 2013 football season.
Additionally, exchanging tickets between students will not be a difficulty since the Athletics website already has a functional digital ticket exchange in place. After paying the $5 fee, which can either be paid by sender or the recipient, the ticket can be exchanged until up to six hours before the game.
Integrating tickets is part of the One Card Office’s push to make the student I.D. card more essential to student life.
“We really want this card to be very, very valuable,” Kernozicky said. “[We want students] to carry it not to have to carry it, but carry it because they want to carry it.”
Students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) master’s program found significant support for the transition to digital tickets after conducting a campus-wide study, according to Kernozicky.
The One Card Office’s eventual goal is to see the student I.D. card completely integrated into cell phones and other mobile devices. Kernozicky believed that this could be implemented in five years, with the proper funding.
Smartphones would be equipped with applications that allow students to access buildings, dining halls and varsity athletic events. Non-smartphones could be equipped with cases to enable their use with the university’s infrastructure. Students without cell phones would be provided with new smart cards – cards with microchip technology – that would allow them the same access.
Kernozicky believes the transition will be widely accepted by students, especially since the cost of replacing a lost or damaged student I.D. card may increase within the next 1-2 years.