Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Looking at the Electronic Ticket Situation from the Dodger Org's Perspective

The Dodger's announcement that they are for the most part discontinuing the issuance of paper tickets has caused some major discontent with fans and particularly the memorabilia collector community.  I understand that and empathize with it too, but I also understand the change.  Maybe as fans we should look at this issue from the Dodger organization's perspective.

Tickets from the L.A. Dodger inaugural season, 1958

Paper tickets are soon to be a thing of the past.  Their functionality is burdensome.  They simply don't serve the purpose that they used to serve.  The demographics of most Dodger fans are tech savvy and social media dominant.  Maybe it's time for some of us dinosaurs to catch up with the times and accept change.

At this time, the popularity of the Dodgers is reaching record levels.  Season ticket plans are capping out.  Going to a Dodger game is becoming THE EVENT in Los Angeles.  Fact is that with a couple of World Championships, Dodger games will be the place to be in Los Angeles, much like the Lakers were during the Shaq/Kobe years or the Showtime era.  So why would the Dodgers want to take on the burden of printing tickets when the fans could do it themselves?  With necessary security features embedded in printed tickets to keep the fake ones from causing problems, the cost has increased in their  production.  Plus, the sophistication of counterfeiters is growing exponentially.  The issuance of electronic tickets alleviates that security problem and puts the onus on fans to print their own tickets when they are more than willing to do so because of demand.

The Dodger organization certainly can afford taking on this ticket production cost, but why?  It's important to remember that they are a business and making money is the bottom line.  As a fan, I like having the tangible ticket in hand, but we need to understand that after winning a championship, next priority for the organization should be to remain profitable.  Printing tickets won't be an overwhelming financial burden for the Dodgers, but it's more than that.  It's eliminating the fraud factor with scalped tickets and it's speeding up stadium entry for fans and making it as as easy as possible. 

The only way to fly in the 21st century.

I fly quite quite frequently, and electronic is simply the way to go when traveling.  A smart phone makes the boarding process easiest.  It is completely understandable why the Dodgers are modernizing in this aspect of their business because it is the wave of the future and cutting edge.

So what about collectors?  What about those fans, (and there's a lot of them), that want Stadium issued tickets to hold on to as keepsakes for their collection?  I have a solution, and it may not be a popular one, but it's something that I'd be willing to accept.  It's called a surcharge.  If you want printed tickets, then the fan should pay for it.  There are costs associated with making printed tickets and ensuring they are secure from counterfeiting, so the cost should be passed on to the purchaser if he opts to go that route.

And there may be advantages to this printed ticket surcharge option for collectors as the value of such tickets in the memorabilia market would go up substantially due to supply and demand.  For example, a printed ticket from Clayton Kershaw's first no-hitter will be more valuable because there may have only been 5,000 printed tickets issued for the 50,000 fans that attended, (since 45,000 fans opted to go electronic).  

So that's my two cents on this issue.  It's time to stop griping about the electronic tickets and voice the opinion to the Dodger organization that paper tickets be issued for a fee.  That would solve this dilemma and keep everyone happy, except for those few that would against the printed ticket surcharge.  But it's a solution and a workable one.


  1. Nice article Evan. Since I won't be buying tickets it really doesn't affect me. But at a glance it is just one more bit of personal contact gone as the electronic age eliminates more person to person exchanges. I don't think it is being done as becoming more green. It is just the path of least resistance, an easier way to do it. Needless to say my view is a very biased one as I abhor so much of the electronic age stuff, for lack of a better word.

    Your suggestion for collectors is a good one - a nominal surcharge.

  2. Changing times are a coming and it can't be stopped. Your solution is a fair one and seems like it would work for the diehards. Just wondering if the limited number of diehards are worth the level of effort and expense the Dodgers would have to give them to make it work.

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