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Cleveland implementing paperless ticketing in 2021

Cleveland IndiansAnother MLB team is moving to paperless ticketing in 2021, as the Cleveland Indians announced mobile-only tickets for 2021–a practice we expect to see implemented across all of Major League Baseball in the next year or two.

We expect to see plenty of paperless ticketing implemented across spring training, billed as a safe way to perform transactions. And that practice should roll into the regular season, as the Indians are billing the move as “a safe, secure and contactless way to enter the ballpark.” While this is being sold today as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy–and it is–it’s also true that MLB and other professional sports have been moving toward paperless ticketing, billed as ways to cut down on counterfeiting and depress the resale market:

“Mobile ticketing allows fans to use their mobile device as a game ticket, providing access to Progressive Field through a barcode that can be scanned from a device’s screen,” according to a press release from the team. “Mobile Entry will reduce Tribe fan’s risk of fraudulent tickets, while allowing for contactless entry between fans and Progressive Field staff, keeping health and safety top of mind.”

The main vehicle for the paperless ticketing: the MLB Ballpark app.

The Tampa Bay Rays implemented paperless ticketing in 2020, while the Seattle Mariners did so in 2019.

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