August 10, 2009

Ticket-scanning should speed up entry to the Swamp

With practices being barred to the public and the media, there likely won't be much to cover other than idle speculation on the Florida Gators football team.

While I plan to do a good bit of speculating and predicting over the next few weeks on the GatorStop, today I figured I'd bring you some welcome news.

Entry to Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, affectionately known as The Swamp, should be much quicker on Gamedays this year. The stadium staff is implementing a new ticket scanning system, both to prevent ticket fraud and to help fans get into the stadium quicker.

I've gotten a good number of questions about the ticket scanning, so I'll do my best to fill you in on what I know. I spoke with the Mark Gajda, the Associate Athletic Director of Ticket Operations about the new process, and he explained it to me in pretty good detail.

First off, for students, you won't need to worry about scanning your student IDs. This has been a common misconception since the announcement of the new procedure.

You will still need your student ID to get into the games, but they will only be scanning ticket stubs, and Mark told me that they are not overly concerned with students selling their tickets to other students. So, you'll still be able to sell your tickets as long as it is to another student. In other words, they're not scanning to check to make sure you're holding the proper ticket, just that your ticket is a valid ticket and not a fake.

Mark did, however, tell me that scanning student IDs is something the ticket office hopes to implement in the future. Hopefully this will happen well after I graduate and am no longer getting student tickets.

Primarily ticket-scanning will cut down on overcrowding of the Swamp due to fake tickets, as it is much harder to duplicate a ticket that will scan properly at the gate.

Also, scanning of tickets means that you can just hold your ticket out as you walk by and they'll scan it for you. No more handing it to the gate attendant as they look over it and tear it off.

While this might not seem a whole lot quicker, even a couple seconds per person makes a huge difference in getting those flooded gates to thin out and get inside the stadium.

That's essentially all this new policy is, it really shouldn't affect anything other than the process of getting through the gates. If you sold your tickets before, you can still do so. If you're reading this post as someone who sells fraudulent tickets and wondering if you can still get away with it, I wouldn't recommend it.

If you have any questions about the new process, feel free to comment on this post and I'll get back to you ASAP.

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  1. I've been hearing from a lot of students that they will be scanning Gator1 IDs to make sure that you are a full time student. So what you're saying is that this won't happen at all, and some one who is "taking a semester off" could still get in?

  2. Yes, that's what I'm saying. They will look at Gator 1's to make sure that the face on the ID matches the person entering. Beyond that, there will be no scanning, meaning that if you graduated last semester BUT have a valid ticket, you will be fine.

    In the future, they are planning on implementing scanning of Gator 1 IDs, but according to the people I spoke to in the ticket office, that will not happen this year.

    There will be no scanning of Gator 1's just visual checks to make sure the face matches the card holder.