Carolina Hurricanes season ticket members began receiving their packages last week. Included in the box were the usual assortment of tchotchkes, discount cards and the like.
One thing that wasn’t included? Actual tickets.
Two seasons after making the move to electronic tickets at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes will distribute tickets almost exclusively via mobile this season, the team confirmed to Canes Country last week. That means fans who either do not own a smartphone or prefer not to bring it with them to a game will need to plan in advance to avoid hurdles at the admission gate.
Unlike in the previous two seasons, when the STM identification card did double duty for both game admission and discounts on merchandise, food and beverages, this season it will solely be a discount card. It comes pre-loaded with the appropriate merchandise discount and food & beverage credit, as in years past, but will not be loaded with game tickets.
Hurricanes vice president of ticket sales Sara Daniel told Canes Country that PNC Arena upgraded to the Ticketmaster Presence system in the offseason, and the new system operates on a near-field communication, or NFC, platform. That means instead of scanning a barcode, fans will tap their device against a reader at the gate, similar to mobile pay and mobile keycards at hotels. The same system is in use at all NFL stadiums and in most NBA and NHL arenas, with the remainder planning to convert sometime in the next two seasons.
Full- and partial-season STMs may still request paper tickets by contacting their account rep, but unlike in past seasons when full STMs received their tickets in hard copy by default (usually on the card), paper tickets will now be made available by request only.
In addition, tickets sold at the arena box office will be delivered via mobile as well, unless a paper ticket is specifically requested by the purchaser.
Purchased mobile tickets can be accessed through the Hurricanes mobile app or, if they have been loaded there beforehand, from a device’s mobile wallet. If the tickets are in a mobile wallet, they will be accessible even in an area of poor service connectivity, which could alleviate problems with poor connections complicating access to tickets in the mobile app.
As in the past two years, ticket transfers will need to be handled through the Caniac Account Manager. Ticket PDFs will not work for admission because the ticket takers will not have anything to scan a QR code. Paper tickets, either from box office purchases or from the ticket office for STMs who requested them, will have a chip embedded in the tickets to tap on the reader at the gate for admission.
The Hurricanes said that 87% of tickets used in the playoffs last season were scanned from mobile devices using QR codes. For the other 13%, now is the time to prepare and plan ahead so that you are not left out once the season gets underway.