Los Angeles Dodgers become first MLB team to eliminate paper season tickets

  • David Whitlock

Los Angeles Dodgers fans aren’t so sure this is “progress” as their team declared that season ticket holders, the most loyal fan base of all, will no longer be issued paper tickets.  Instead, they will be sent a bar code to print out, or keep with them on a mobile device to scan into the game.  Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles times reports, that, even if a fan requests, they will have to comply with the new process:

“This is a real fan enhancement,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer.  By replacing paper tickets with bar codes, he said, fans can print them at their convenience, transfer them at no charge to friends, clients or StubHub, and gain expedited entry to the ballpark at automated turnstiles.

Fans aren’t so sure, Shaikin answered one fan who collects ticket stubs that he is out of luck:

There are other potential drawbacks pointed out in the article (via Shaikin)

One fan informed of the decision at Thursday’s select-a-seat event at Dodger Stadium said he was warned to expect long lines as fans adjust to the new system.

Another fan said she was concerned about older fans not interested in printing bar codes or using smartphone applications; a third fan said he was dismayed that the Dodgers accepted money for season tickets months ago but did not reveal the new system until Thursday.

And of course, what about historic moments, who would want to just have a bar code instead of a ticket stub for something like a Sandy Koufax no-hitter or a Kirk Gibson game-winning walk-off home run?  Rosen countered (via same article):

“We did take that into consideration,” Rosen said. “We think the benefits far outweigh that.”

Credit: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com

This just doesn’t feel the same as a real ticket
Credit: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com

I will admit, I’m skeptical.  I have two valued Rose Bowl tickets stubs, and a ticket stub from Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit as well as the Astros victory over the Braves in 18 innings in 2005.  That being said, I used to not understand how one might print out an airline boarding pass at home or purchase a car on Ebay.  I can’t imagine there is that much savings in paper and mail given the contracts of baseball players are well over five figures per game at the average salary.  The times are a changing.  Are the Dodgers ahead of the curve, or are they killing one of the more traditional aspects of attending a game?

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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