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Fans navigate new digital ticket system on first day of Tennessee football

The rollout of the new system caused some concerns for fans, while some others said they were eager to leave paper tickets at home.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Thursday, fans filled Neyland Stadium for the first game of football season, eager to watch the Vols defeat Ball State. However, getting into the stadium may have been a new experience for many fans.

In July, the University of Tennessee Athletics Department announced they would start using a digital ticket system. Instead of printing tickets out or buying paper versions, people would have to buy them online and access them through a mobile device.

UT said the change was meant to improve security and reduce the risk of ticket fraud. They also hoped it would make the process of going to a game more convenient for fans.

"So far, so good," said one fan. "I have it in my Apple Wallet."

Other fans weren't as excited about the new system. One fan went to the game with his son, who helped his father enter the stadium.

"I have no idea what digital tickets are," he said. "I'm papa, you know. The old guy."

Originally, UT Athletics said they would not allow screenshots of tickets at the gates. However, some people arrived at Neyland Stadium with screenshots instead of tickets stored inside digital wallets. For the most part, they were still able to get inside.

A worker at the gate said most fans can enter with any type of ticket, as long as they can show a photo ID that proves the ticket is theirs. But that still requires phones to hold onto their battery power, causing some fans to sweat.

"I'm getting a little nervous because the last time I checked my phone, it was on 20%. I don't know how long the line's going to be, but we're hoping to make it all the way through," said one fan.

For quick and easy entry into Tennesse Athletics venues, fans are encouraged to download the Tennessee Athletics app from the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android), UT Athletics said.

According to UT Athletics, there are some useful tips to help expedite entry into all Tennessee Athletics events:

  • Access tickets and parking passes through the Tennessee Athletics app or an All Vols account manager account at least 48 hours prior to the event.
  • Prior to arrival on campus, add tickets to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.
  • Ensure that your mobile device with your tickets is fully charged before leaving for the venue.
  • Have your ticket displayed and ready to be scanned before entering the venue.
  • Reference the seat location on the ticket to access your seat(s).
  • Turn the screen brightness on your device to its highest level for easier scanning.

For more information check out UT Athletics' digital ticketing guide

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