Minnesota Wild season-ticket holders will now have a digital card with all of their game passes on it starting with the 2014-15 campaign, rather than using traditional paper.
The Wild becomes the first pro sports team in the Twin Cities market to shift to the card, which neatly slips into a wallet and is scanned upon entry to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
In its announcement Monday, the Wild said about half of the teams in the NHL and some in other leagues in North America offer a form of digital ticketing.
“The time is right to make this transition,” said Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. “Our fans have become accustomed to using the convenience of online and mobile technology in many other areas of their lives.”
Among other advantages to ticket holders, the Wild points out, the wrong tickets won’t be grabbed by mistake before heading out the door.
Here’s how it works:
The card is swiped upon entry, and a “seat locator” receipt is printed.
Season-ticket holders wishing to share need to log on to “My Wild Account” and print their tickets to pass on or sell. The ticket-printing option also can be forwarded to others in an e-mail or downloaded to their smartphone.
Multiple cards can be issued for a shared seat, meaning a single card does not have to be passed around for those splitting a season ticket package.
The “secondary ticket market,” once known in the pre-legal days as scalping, apparently won’t be adversely affected, said an executive with a leader in the Twin Cities resale industry.
“It won’t have an impact on the secondary market,” said Drew Baydala, executive director of business operations operations for Ticket King in Minneapolis. As long as the tickets that are printed “have a bar code, that’s all we need. We’re not sweating it.”
The Minnesota Twins offer a non-paper option only through mobile devices such as smart phones but “continue to explore additional opportunities to expand digital ticketing with our customers,” said Chris Iles, a team spokesman. “However, we feel the future of digital ticketing lives in the mobile device world.”
For Glen Taylor’s Wolves and Lynx basketball franchises, it’s pretty much a paper operation, except fans can present the ticket’s bar code on a mobile device for admission.
“We’ve explored new means of technology for ticketing,” said Brad Ruiter, spokesman for the two teams. “And while we don’t have any immediate plans [to turn to a wider digital format], we might entertain new ways in the future.”
Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said his franchise is sticking with paper tickets and mobile scanning for now, and also "will be looking at all emerging technologies/ticketing options for the new stadium but will remain with traditional tickets during the two years at the University of Minnesota."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482