One of the mottos of Silicon Valley is to always be evolving, so it should come as no surprise that the San Francisco 49ers are at the forefront of change in the ticketing industry.
Starting next season the 49ers will exclusively use mobile tickets for entrance into Levi’s Stadium. Fans can still print the tickets at home, but the 49ers will abandon traditional ticket stubs.
This move was inevitable and it should come as no surprise that the 49ers, one of the most tech-friendly teams in all of sports, are leading it, but it’s clear this change will come with pushback from fans and analysts alike.
An entire generation of sports fans have long enjoyed ticket stubs as a timeless relic to capture each sports viewing memory without actually buying something at the stadium. There are even numerous online vendors that sell nothing but ticket stubs to memorable events.
Luckily the 49ers brass was smart enough to see that reaction coming, and at least for the time being, claims they are using the money they will save from not having to print tickets to purchase gifts for some of their more loyal fans and season ticket holders.
While that is a nice gesture, and the move towards mobile ticketing certainly makes sense from a business perspective, it will be interesting to see if other teams are willing to adopt the same policy. If they are unable to pull the change off in a successful fashion it would be surprising to see any other teams stop printing out their ticket stubs.