Cubs single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CT today, and buying them will be different this year than any year in the past.
Why? Because this year, anyone who buys tickets from the Cubs anywhere but the box office will be restricted to mobile tickets only. The team explains:
Colin Faulkner, the Cubs’ senior vice president of sales and partnerships, said the switch to the digital-only format started last year.
“Half of the major-league teams will be eliminating printed tickets,” said Faulkner, adding that teams are following a trend that has seen airlines and businesses such as Starbucks opt for mobile devices for tickets and payments.
Faulkner added that the number of season ticket holders who have requested printed tickets has decreased to 5 percent.
The Cubs said they opted for a digital-only ticket format to allow fans quicker access into the ballpark and to cut down on ticket fraud.
Let’s be clear on two things here. The reason only five percent of season-ticket holders have requested printed tickets is because the Cubs are charging a $10 per game fee for printing those tickets, with a maximum charge of $150 per ticket for the season. I think you can see why most STH wouldn’t want to do that. I’d much rather have the nice commemorative tickets — which the Cubs say they’re going to give us after the season — but if you opt for the printed tickets, you simply get box office stock.
Second, digital tickets don’t always give “quicker access” into the park. If your phone is slow or the ballpark wifi isn’t working or the scanners can’t scan the image, it can slow things down. I’ll grant them their point on fraud, but the real reason the Cubs want digital tickets is data. Because you have to sign in on the MLB Ballpark app with your email address, the Cubs will now know exactly who is using each ticket, something they can’t do with printed tickets.
One thing the Cubs are doing to try to pump up awareness for the on-sale is giving away pairs of tickets to a 2019 Cubs game by what they are calling the “IN-forcement team” at various L stops around the city. Here’s how it looked when they did it on Thursday:
The “IN-forcement team” is supposed to be at the Addison stop as well as several other North Side and downtown locations this morning, so look for them! You might win some tickets.
We’ll see if demand is down this year, as some think it might be, and whether you have to spend lots of time in the virtual waiting room, from your reports in the comments to this post. The VWR opens 90 minutes after this post goes live, at 9:30 a.m. CT, and half an hour later tickets officially go on sale. You can also buy via phone at 1-800-THE-CUBS (843-2827). The Cubs say that all internet customers will need a valid cubs.com account and they encourage you to sign up for an account, if you don’t have one, before the sale begins.
Lastly, there is a four-ticket purchase limit for Diamond games per household, credit card or email address, and 14-ticket limit for all other games.
Good luck, and post your tales of success or woe in the comments.