StubHub is launching a mobile ticket option today for San Francisco Giants fans that allows them to get tickets sent directly to their phones, eliminating the need for printouts.
Because the feature, which is being added to the current StubHub app for the iPhone or Android phones, eliminates the need for a paper ticket, buyers will literally be able to find and buy tickets as they stand outside the gate. Ushers using special scanners, not the bar code scanners currently in use at most sporting and concert venues, simply scan the image of the ticket displayed on the screen.
The app does not completely eliminate the need for paper: ushers will hand customers a printed receipt that they need for reentry to their section after leaving for the bathroom or food.
Mats Nilsson, director of product at StubHub, said that for now there are six of the new scanners at the Giants ballpark. The company plans to expand the mobile ticketing service to other venues over the next few months.
Russ Stanley, managing vice president of the Giants, said the initiative will give fans more options to resell or transfer tickets to friends. Mobile ticketing gives "fans an opportunity to get to the ballpark and gives them an outlet to buy a ticket in a safe secure way...They aren't buying on the streets. They are buying it on their phones."
While mobile ticketing may be a first for the Giants on the StubHub platform, other teams such as the Oakland A's have already gone paperless using services like Tickets.com's ProVenueMobile. A's fans can buy a ticket online and have a bar code sent to their mobile phone. The difference is that Oakland A's fans don't need an app; they just connect to the team's Website. MogoTix is also in the mobile ticketing arena, giving venues such as MovieTickets.com and Fandango the option to customize QR codes for their events.
Mobile ticketing is expected to explode soon, with 15 billion tickets predicted to be delivered by cell phone by 2014, according to Juniper Research.