Student tickets have already sold out for the upcoming University of Alabama football season, but those students won’t be holding printed tickets for entry into those games.
As part of a larger trend throughout the ticketing industry, tickets to University of Alabama football games have gone paperless. But, instead of using cell phones to hold the paperless tickets, students will be able to swipe their ID card to gain admission to games for which they paid for tickets.
Tickets were purchased on Rolltide.com, the official website for University of Alabama athletics. Student ticket packages cost only $35 and paid for all seven home games.
Although the package price seems reasonable and the website accessible, student frustration with the new system ran high. The campus newspaper, “The Crimson White,” conducted an online poll on student satisfaction, and of those who responded to the survey, 33 percent were pleased and received tickets, 26 percent received tickets but did not like the system, and 33 percent did not receive tickets and were displeased with the website. The remaining 8 percent reported not being interested in sports.
Further concerns with the program are more sentimental. Although the switch to a paperless system cuts costs, it also takes away a valuable tangible memento of the game, which many students have complained about. The student government is currently working on providing a solution.
Most importantly to the ticket market, students will still be able to resell their tickets. Their ID card activation can be transferred to another student online, or students can go to the athletic office and pay the difference to upgrade their student ticket to a general admission ticket which the student can then resell.
Students who have earned at least 65 credit hours at the end of the Fall 2007 semester will be able to place orders for tickets to away games, for which they will be issued paper tickets.
Look for the trend of moving to paperless tickets to continue to spread to various universities around the country, as those schools look to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to paperless ticketing systems.