Online ticketing in high schools is having profound changes on school operations and school community interactions. The premise of online and digital ticketing in high schools works like this:
Fans are able to buy tickets online prior to an event, using a credit card. By charging a small processing fee, digital ticket companies are able to cover the cost of their services and offer those services for cheap (or free) to participating high schools.
The Difference Between Paper Tickets and Adding the Digital Ticket Option
There are three big factors that digital ticketing introduces to the equation:
- Credit Card Processing
- Better Auditing and Reports
- More Possible Income for your Athletic Department
Credit Card Processing
If your school has the ability to accept credit card payments to your games, it makes it easier for parents and fans to buy their tickets. Without credit card processing, parents have to do work in order to get into the game and see their kids play. That might mean going to an ATM after work, or right before the game.
Online ticketing opens up the opportunity of paying for tickets well in advance of the game, and without needing to visit an ATM. The parent simply finds your school’s event online, selects the number of tickets they’ll need, and makes the purchase at their convenience. This goes for your school’s “home” parents, as well as visiting parents from your opponent’s school.
Better Auditing and Reports
One of the biggest risks school’s face with any kind of ticketing is fraud. The data shows that cash handling, lack of transparency, and other factors end up costing schools money from their gate income, which is often the biggest source of income an athletic department has.
With digital ticketing, every transaction that happens online is recorded, logged, and punched into a report that you can send directly to your school’s business office. Your business office can then compare the payment you receive from the digital ticketing company to the reports, to make sure everything lines up for any particular game.
More Income for your Athletic Department
Visitors want easy access to games at your school. The online option means that visitors can buy tickets to the game well in advance of the event, which accomplishes several things.
First, it means you lock in income regardless of schedule changes or weather events.
For example, let’s say you have a rivalry game coming up Friday night. There’s usually a good turnout from both communities, so you’re expecting a good crowd.
IT RAINS that afternoon. Suddenly, you’re looking at empty bleachers because fans from both sides aren’t sure if it’s worth the trip and the money to see a game in the rain (or deal with a schedule change). That could be hundreds of dollars your department isn’t getting tonight!
Let’s change the situation to add digital tickets: you send your opponent’s AD the online ticket information early in the week, and 100 visiting parents go ahead and buy their tickets for Friday night.
Same scenario happens, rain on Friday. This time, you have income from 100 ticket sales in your bank account, no matter what! Hopefully the parents still come out, since they’ve bought their tickets already. Even if the schedule is changed and the game is postponed, you’ve still got a check with income from an extra 100 ticket sales headed your way.
Second, we’ll bring up a little psychology.
If you’re a parent walking up to the gate and you buy your ticket there, you are less likely to buy anything else. We call that original ticket purchase a “pain point.” You just paid something, so there’s an extra layer of mental resistance to spending more resources.
If parents have paid for their ticket in advance, by the time they find their seats at the game, their ticket purchase “pain point” is far in the past. They are now more likely to think “I haven’t spent anything tonight – maybe I’ll get a hot dog and chips to watch the game.”
By removing the ticket purchase “pain point” from the admission gate, you encourage parents to spend more on other offerings at the game, increasing your department’s income for the night.
Getting started with online tickets? Check out these other resources: