All students aiming to attend Northwest Athletics games and contests will be required to use an e-ticket starting this fall sports season, Northwest Athletics and the University announced Aug. 21.
Students will be able to load the ticket onto their phones or download the tickets in a PDF format and bring a printed copy to the gate at their selected sporting event, according to Athletics. Students will no longer be able to redeem their free tickets through the University’s cashiering office.
The move is a step toward a more efficient ticketing process, said Kiersten Orton, who serves as an assistant athletic director in an administrative role for Athletics. The department made the move, one focused on convenience, after several months of evaluation, Orton said.
“We’ve always had that option; we’ve just never really promoted it to a great extent,” Orton said. “I know there’s been some people who have taken advantage of the e-ticket already through our University ticket system. Now, we’re trying to get more of the word out.”
A vast majority of Northwest’s fan base across all sports has traditionally used a paper ticket, Orton said. In some ways, the move for Athletics and the University is a step forward in the evolving realm of event-ticketing.
Orton cited Northwest football’s Oct. 12 matchup with Pittsburg State at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, as an example of the future of events ticketing. All attendees, regardless of whether they’re a student or not, will be required to use an e-ticket in accordance with the Chiefs’ policy implemented at Arrowhead.
“Our fans will get a taste of that (Oct. 12),” Orton said. “I know that there are always pros and cons, where not everybody agrees always with one way or another. But that will at least give (fans) an idea of what that is, and hopefully, we’re able to move in that direction eventually down the road.”
Athletics is beginning what will be a complete switch to mobile and e-ticketing with students because students tend to be more tech-savvy, Orton said. Athletics also hopes the move, which will save students the trip to Northwest’s cashiering office, will appeal to students as a convenience factor, allowing cashiering to focus on non-student ticketing and other processes, Orton said.
Multiple Northwest cashiering employees offered minimal comment, saying they didn’t expect the particulars of their job to change with the move to e-ticketing.
“It’s just efficient,” Kaley Coulter, an accounts receivable supervisor in Northwest’s Office of the Bursar, said. “Making moves in the future direction here.”
Orton and Athletics expect the increased convenience for fans to be two-fold. Students won’t have to wait in line at cashiering and fans won’t be required to wait for the ticket box offices to open two hours before game time. This projected decrease in line-waiting should make entering sporting venues on gameday an easier experience.
Similar to employees in the University’s cashiering office, Joshua Williams, a student employee at Bearcat Stadium and Bearcat Arena who is responsible for scanning tickets upon fan entry, doesn’t foresee much change to his gameday duties.
“The e-tickets won’t affect the job,” Williams said. “Most people had them last year and I assume tickets can still be gotten at the ticket booth. So the job doesn’t change.”
Athletics hopes the move to e-tickets does spark a change in student attendance across all sporting events, Orton said. The expectation is that an easier ticket-buying process and gameday entry will lead to more student spectators at Bearcat Stadium, among other venues.
“That’s kind of our hope; we want to try to get more student engagement in all of our athletic events,” Orton said. “We’re hoping that this is a way for them to have easier access to that so that they don’t have to wait in lines anymore to get their tickets: it’s right there.”