We’ve posed this question before…..When does a game ticket stop being more than entry into a stadium and take on the significance of a document, one with historical significance at that?
In Silicon Valley’s crown jewel, the only way one could get into Super Bowl 50 was with a traditionally printed paper ticket. Why this game and not others? Certainly it was a commemorative game, it was the 50th Super Bowl after all. But there have been many Super Bowls that weren’t very memorable except that they were, well, Super Bowls. Unless you are a 49ers fan, there was nothing memorable about Super Bowl XXIV (except that I left in the 3rd quarter to get a table at a great spot in the French Quarter).
So where do we draw the line? Aren’t playoff, division or league/conference championship games significant enough to be called ‘history’? According to one NFL spokesman quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article about Super Bowl 50 “fans like the commemorative aspect of the tickets”.
The value that a team gains by capturing fan behavior through the (proper) use of mobile ticketing applications is undeniable, but done at the cost of no longer offering one of the most entrenched expectations in sports; the commemorative and (sometimes) historical significance of a traditionally printed season ticket.
So if the name of the game is analytics, let’s get going. But let’s also make sure to commemorate not just the game, but the most loyal people in sports, the season ticket holder.