Emerging Tech, Data & Media

NFL taps Ticketmaster to tackle ticket fraud

SafeTix technology to be introduced for start of 2019/20 football season.

by Ed Dixon

NFL taps Ticketmaster to tackle ticket fraud

Ticketmaster, the ticket sales and distribution platform, has launched SafeTix for the National Football League (NFL) as it aims to combat ticket fraud and provide teams with extra details about those attending.

The identity-based service will give ticket buyers a unique, encrypted barcode that refreshes every few seconds, designed to tackle fraud happening through screenshotting or other forms of copying.

Additionally, every time a ticket is sold on or transferred a brand new one will be sent to the recipient’s registered account and mobile phone, with the barcode continuing to refresh.

SafeTix forms part of the NFL’s longstanding partnership with Ticketmaster and will build on Presence, the company’s next generation venue software, which was first introduced for the 2018/19 season. The system enables NFL teams to obtain real-time insights about who is attending a game and where tickets are being traded. It also validates tickets on NFL-licensed marketplaces to help further reduce fraud.

SafeTix is expected to be adopted by 27 of the NFL’s 32 teams in 26 venues when the 2019/20 season gets underway in September. The Chargers and Rams from Los Angeles are not using the service as they are in the process of moving to permanent venues. The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints have reportedly chosen to opt out of Ticketmaster’s deal with the NFL.

Justin Burleigh, Ticketmaster North America chief product officer, said: “This is a big leap forward for us on the fraud and security front. But more broadly, this is also an opportunity to give content owners greater control over the integrity of their tickets. We really see this as the future of ticketing.”

SafeTix will be expanded later this year to include contactless tickets using near-field communications (NFC) technology and allow Apple Wallet users to enter NFL stadiums. Ticketmaster also plans to roll the system out to 500 venues by the end of the 2019.