Angels fans get first look at stadium’s mobile ticket policy
Veronica Nordstrom walked up to the help tent outside Angel Stadium. The Angels have a new admission policy this season, and she wanted to understand it before she walked up to the stadium entrance for Thursday’s home opener.
“I just don’t want to go up there and get embarrassed,” Nordstrom said.
You still can get a paper ticket to an Angels game, with a bar code that is scanned at the gate. You still can get an electronic ticket delivered to your smartphone, also with a bar code that is scanned at the gate.
What you cannot do any more is get an electronic ticket, print it at home, and show the printed bar code at the gate.
The Angels would like you to use Major League Baseball’s Ballpark app. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can visit the stadium ticket office for a paper ticket.
But the Angels, like many teams in all the major sports, prefer mobile ticketing. The teams tout convenience and security: You simply show your phone at the gate rather than worry about losing a paper ticket, you can give a ticket to a friend with a click rather than a car ride, and the absence of a paper ticket reduces the possibility of a counterfeit ticket.
The teams also embrace mobile ticketing as a way to make more money. Once your ticket is scanned, for instance, a team could send an alert to your phone, with a special offer at the concession stand or team store, or an opportunity to buy an upgrade to a vacant seat in a prime location.
None of that can happen if the scanners don’t work. The Angels bought new scanners this season, ones that work even if the stadium Wi-Fi goes out, senior director of ballpark operations Brian Sanders said.
Reid Mitchell was not about to miss the Angels’ home opener. He wore his Angels backpack, Angels jersey and an old California Angels hat, with the state topped by a yellow halo. He walked up to the box office, bought a paper ticket, then went a few steps to his right and discovered the scanners would not recognize the bar code on his ticket.
The Angels’ gate attendants tried three scanners. He waited for several minutes as team staffers huddled. Mitchell eventually got into the stadium, although he wasn’t sure whether a scanner eventually acknowledged his ticket or the staffers decided he was legitimate and simply waved him into the ballpark.
Glen Smith had a problem, but not with the restriction on printouts. His friend had forwarded him a ticket electronically, then sent him the actual paper ticket. Smith did not know that the bar code on an Angels paper ticket is invalidated as soon as the ticket is forwarded electronically. He explained that to the team, and he was admitted.
“I’m an old fart,” he said with a smile. “Give me something I can feel.”
Nordstrom got in too. She was told she could use a screen shot for admission for now but should get used to the new system as soon as possible. She said she would.
“This is great,” she said, “once you get used to it.”
Times staff writer Alexa Diaz contributed to this report.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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