The Oakland Athletics are testing a new NFC ticketing system that lets Apple users scan their iPhone or Apple Watch on the ticket reader, much like they would to make an Apple Pay purchase.
The system uses the same NFC tech as Apple’s mobile payment system. It is being trialled for a six-game homestand, which started after the launch of iOS 11.
While contactless entry isn’t altogether different from the mobile barcode tickets used by many stadiums, it’s more secure due to the fact that a barcode could be copied. In addition, it is less prone to error.
The contactless ticketing technology being tested by the Major League Baseball team was developed by Tickets.com, a subsidiary of MLBAM. The group is working to implement the technology more widely for the 2018 baseball season.
A history of innovation
Way back in 2007, the year that the first-generation iPhone shipped, the Oakland Athletics was the first team to use mobile ticketing, carried out via text message. The MLB has also been proactive in adopting new technologies — often involving Apple products.
In 2016, Apple signed a multiyear deal with MLB to give an iPad Pro to coaching staff — so they can easily access performance data, weigh up possible pitcher-hitter matchups, analyze where a player is likely to hit the ball, and even look up videos from previous games.
Before that, in 2013, MLB installed iBeacons at 20 U.S. ballparks to offer iOS-using spectators point-of-interest mapping and other relevant contextual information. The following year, a deal was struck which added Apple Pay to several MLB stadiums in time for the 2014 World Series.
Are you a regular user of Apple Pay? Do you find it a more convenient way of paying for products — or, in this case, confirming your ticket number? Leave your comments below.