Bigger Than Brick

Mobile Ticketing Options Add to Technology Improvements

Ticketing system gets major overhaul prior to 2017 season.

Aug. 1, 2017

Throughout the 2017 football season we will be giving you a behind the scenes look at the Campus Crossroads Project on social media - you can follow along with the #NDBiggerThanBrick hashtag. Why #NDBiggerThanBrick? Back in Notre Dame's 1930 Alumnus magazine, it was stated "Notre Dame is bigger than brick and far more than mortar."

Technology upgrades at Notre Dame Stadium mean it’s never been easier to achieve connectivity in the Irish football facility.

And the Notre Dame ticket office is providing some new ways to take advantage of those technology improvements/

Changes to football ticketing taking place this fall came from Irish vice president and James E. Rohr athletic director Jack Swarbrick’s vision to modernize the ticketing experience for the fan, says Rob Kelly, associate athletics director for ticketing, premium and technology.

“This project has been three years in the making. Jack’s vision, deputy athletic director Jim Fraleigh’s leadership and the tireless efforts of the ticketing and technology team are transforming the way our fans will manage the ticket experience,” says Kelly.

“As recently as five years ago we were not accepting credit cards for ticket purchases. Football ticket applications were a paper Scantron form. You had no input into your seat location or price point. You got what you got. Everybody who participated in the ticket lottery paid up front, and we held onto their money for two or three months and refunded it if they didn’t get tickets.

“Modernization of the process has moved us toward the ability to customize the ticket experience using digital platforms, as well as enhancing value through other benefits and amenities, including the ability to choose from seat prices and locations. We’ve gone from one tier--one bench ticket price in the bowl--to having eight ticket prices in the upper and lower stadium bowl. Plus, we’ve added entirely new experiences to enjoy football game day.”

The ability to manage your Notre Dame tickets is coming to the palm of your hand, says Kelly.

“The ticket office, in collaboration with an existing technology partner, Experience, is developing a mobile ticket management app for iOS and Android,” he says. “Experience currently powers the Irish Upgrades program, which enables ticket holders with a mobile device to purchase seat upgrades and unique in-game experiences. Called My Notre Dame Tickets, the app allows all Notre Dame season-ticket members to transfer, donate and present their tickets for entry to the event, all from their mobile devices.”

Fans also can donate tickets back to the University, receiving a donation acknowledgment.

Says Kelly, “Season-ticket members still will receive their hard tickets, but they’ll have the option of dealing with their tickets electronically.

“If you want to leave the hard tickets at home and make use of your tickets digitally, all you do is download the app and you simply present the barcode on our phone at the gate. You can transfer your ticket to someone else as long as that individual also has downloaded the app.

“We’ve been scanning student ticket barcodes for three years, so we’re ready to do this. This is the next step. And while the app is only available this year to season-ticket members, eventually we expect that everybody in the stadium will have the ability to work with their tickets on a digital basis.

“We’re providing the convenience of the digital aspect with the nostalgia of the souvenir hard ticket design.”

Here are other new elements relative to the ticketing process for Notre Dame in 2017:

Pricing: There are now eight different tiers of ticket prices in the stadium bowl.

“We recognized as a university that a single ticket price meant we had less and less flexibility with ticket prices,” Kelly says. “Now the lowest priced-ticket for three of the games is $45 for seats in the upper end zone. It was 2002 when we last had a price that low for a non-student ticket.”

In general, ticket prices are now lower in the end zones and increased along the sidelines. The price changes in the bowl (not including premium seats) are revenue-neutral, Kelly adds.

“Seating has decreased overall, from 80,795 to approximately 78,000,” he says. “That 78,000 figure includes 4,000 seats in the premium and corporate hospitality spaces. The weighted-average increase in prices in the bowl is about 3 percent to make up for the loss of seating. Despite this, just over half--51 percent--of the tickets in the bowl stayed the same or decreased in price.”

Lottery changes: “The ticket lottery is different in two significant ways,” says Kelly. “It’s more transparent and managed through a digital platform. We’ve put the process into the lottery participant’s hands. Previously you’d send in the application, and in July we’d tell you what seats you’d won or not won--and we’d refund your money. Now you can see exactly which seats are available and at what price. You know at that moment you have those tickets.”

Ticket resale policy dropped: Previously, the ticket resale policy prevented ticket holders from selling tickets for more than face value. Through a partnership with Chicago-based Vivid Seats, fans now are able to resell their tickets for all Notre Dame athletic events. Although it’s not guaranteed that your tickets will sell, the transaction will be backed by a 100-percent guarantee from Vivid Seats and the University.

The University and Vivid Seats, an industry leader in secondary ticketing, have formed a partnership that offers fans cutting-edge technology solutions when buying and selling tickets for all Irish athletic events. For the first time, Notre Dame fans will have a safe and secure place to sell tickets on the secondary market.

“It’s a first-class partnership with a guarantee backing the transaction,” says Kelly. “It won’t guarantee the tickets will sell, but if you find a buyer we’ll jointly back it.”

With the Notre Dame Ticket Exchange, powered by Vivid Seats, every confirmed transaction is covered by Vivid Seats and Notre Dame and assures an on-time delivery of authentic tickets to fans or their money back.

Notre Dame fans also will receive VIP customer service 365 days a year. Access the marketplace at ticketexchange.und.com or by calling the Vivid Seats’ concierge line at 844-224-5240.

Among a number of innovative features planned for seasons to come with the creation of the Notre Dame Ticket Exchange will be blended primary and secondary ticket listings so Irish fans can choose from the full range of seat locations and prices that are available. Fans still will know whether they are buying a ticket from the University or another fan.

In the future, Notre Dame season-ticket members and participants in the Notre Dame football ticket lottery will receive special access, incentives and rewards for utilizing the Notre Dame Ticket Exchange.

New seating: “Previously we had only one thing to offer--splintered wood seats,” Kelly says. When fans arrive at the stadium this fall, the old wooden bench seats will have changed to new composite vinyl over galvanized steel benches. The new style was already in use in the upper bowl last season. Two additional inches of seating space have been added to each of the seats in the lower bowl--the seats (formerly 16 inches wide) now average 18 inches in width. Seats in the “preferred” seating areas, along the sidelines, are dark blue padded seats with armrests.

In the stadium’s semi-private seating areas in Duncan Student Center and Corbett Family Hall, loge seating is available (the term loge comes from the French term for theater box seats.) Loge seating consists of chairs with casters and counter-style tables.

Outdoor club-level seating is available and offers cushioned seats with armrests under an outdoor heated overhang. Both types of seating offer a range of amenities. For more information and photos, visit premiumseating.nd.edu.

Tickets: There’s a new ticket design every year. “We’re always proud of the work the marketing communications staff does to enhance the ticket package for season ticket members,” says Kelly. This year’s ticket design will offer a dramatic design change saluting Notre Dame’s campus.

Gold Card: Season-ticket members paying the annual gift per ticket will also receive a gold card that provides complimentary white field parking for home football games, a one-time 20 percent discount on a Fanatics online merchandise order and complimentary access to all general admission sports (volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and softball).

For Notre Dame football ticket information, please visit UND.com/BuyTickets/.

Courtesy of und.com.