Prior to this season, Temple students lined up outside of The Liacouras Center or in front of the ticket office at Lincoln Financial Field and picked up their tickets to sporting events right before game time.
Now, Temple Athletics is embracing a new age of digital sports ticketing. The university converted to a fully digital system for the 2022-23 athletic seasons, eliminating the need for students to get physical copies of tickets.
“Any place you go now, whether it’s a Phillies game or an Eagles game, they don’t print tickets anymore,” said Bob Capewell, assistant athletic director and head of ticket sales at Temple. “We’re trying to keep up with technology and make sure that we’re staying up to date with all the advances in ticketing technology.”
Prior to the switch, fans arrived at games before tipoff and gained entry to the stadium by showing their TUIDs.
Today, students follow a link on Temple’s website and select which game they want to attend. Students then input their TUID number, email address and phone number to ensure tickets are sent to them.
The digital process allows Temple to track attendance at games more efficiently, something that didn’t exist when students would simply show their student IDs for a printed ticket.
“If there are games like the Villanova or Houston games that are getting close to being sold out, we just make sure that students know they need to go get their tickets early,” Capewell said.
However, some students like Ryan Gaspar, a senior biochemistry major, find the new system to be a hassle, potentially deterring students from attending games.
“You have to log on and it takes a while,” Gaspar said. “Before you could just show your ID right after class and get right in, so I prefer just showing my ID.”
Temple Athletics experienced technical issues early in the season with the new platform. With the new system, the department receives a list of student TUIDs from the Temple University Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Athletics then inputs those IDs into a database that’ll grant students free tickets to sporting events.
Not all students had access to the tickets due to an early lack of communication between the two offices.
“Part of the problem was that we had some students that weren’t loaded into the list that we received,” Capewell said. “Anytime you switch to a new process you are going to have a few hiccups.”
The website shut down at one point in the season, forcing Gaspar and his friends to go to the box office in The Liacouras Center, almost making them late for a game, Gaspar said.
For upperclassmen that went to games before the change, the new system was a confusing process. Some weren’t aware of the new ticketing process until November when basketball season began.
Temple tried marketing the new system by sending mass texts that included the link to reserve tickets and adding the link to its website to get the word out, Capewell said.
“I think they could have done a better job with the marketing of the change,” said Elsie Jones, a junior human development and community engagement major. “If my friend didn’t send me the link I would have expected to just show up and show them my ID.”
Students sometimes were forced to wait in long lines to get printed tickets for highly-anticipated games, unaware if any would be available by the time they reached the ticketing window.
Despite the ticketing disconnect between students and Temple Athletics, the department is trying to simplify the process for its students, especially for games when The Liacouras Center or Lincoln Financial Field are expected to be more crowded than usual.
“We definitely appreciate people willing to change and adapt to this new process,” Capewell said. “Especially the people that this isn’t their first year and are used to a different process. Which is probably the hardest for upperclassmen that are used to showing their IDs and getting in. We appreciate those people that are willing to go along with it.”
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