Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers

Oklahoma fans set up to shoot video of Sooners players run onto the field before their game against West Virginia at Memorial Stadium in Norman in October. OU is transitioning to digital tickets for all home venues starting this fall. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

Traditional tickets to college games are becoming a thing of the past in favor of electronic entry to stadiums and arenas.

The University of Oklahoma announced Wednesday its transition to digital ticketing for all of its venues in addition to football parking, citing increased safety and convenience as factors.

“We’re sure hopeful that our athletics competitions will occur as scheduled (despite the COVID-19 outbreak),” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “But regardless of any timetables, we’re extremely excited to introduce digital ticketing at our venues, as it will result in several benefits for our fans.

“First, our aim is to limit physical contact between our fans and gameday staff as much as possible, and this change is a first step in achieving that goal. We’ll announce more of those steps later. The new digital ticketing process will also significantly reduce ticket fraud and loss of tickets, making for an even more seamless venue-entry experience. And fans will enjoy the flexibility of being able to immediately transfer tickets and parking passes to friends or family members.”

Fans buying OU tickets will no longer have the option to print their tickets at home. Season, mini-plan and single-game tickets and football parking passes will instead be accessed on smartphones and on the Sooner Sports app, similar to what was done the past two seasons at the Big 12 championship and bowl games.

Digital ticketing is not an option for those without a smartphone. According to OU’s website, fans without smartphones should make arrangements with the ticket office. Commemorative tickets also will be made available to fans who are interested.

The University of Tulsa also is making digital ticketing its primary way to attend all sporting events starting with the upcoming football season. Fans will be able to save season or single-game tickets on Apple or Android phones, but the option to print tickets at home remains available and hard-stock tickets will be provided upon request.

“This is really an opportunity for us to go with contactless and make it safer and make it a better environment for our fans to enter and really make it more convenient,” associate athletic director Jason Malay said. “You’ll always have those tickets on you and not having to worry about where your tickets are is a great convenience.”

Oklahoma State has offered digital tickets since 2017 and made a push for season-ticket holders to use them last season. Next month, current season-ticket holders will be able to choose between physical tickets and digital ones with an incentivized refund of the $10 per ticket printing fee.

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Kelly Hines

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Kelly has covered college football and college basketball for the World since 2012. She spends her spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452