Last weekend, Loftus Versveld Stadium, in Pretoria, became the first stadium in SA to offer spectators near-field communication (NFC)-enabled turnstiles andaccess with the tap of a card.
The paperless NFC ticketing project is a collaborated effort by Blue Label Telecoms, Ticketpros and liquidNFC. It allows supporters to purchase their tickets on their mobile phones or from the Web site, and tap their NFC cards to gain access to the stadium.
The NFC turnstile access-control and ticketing systems were installed at all 100 of Loftus’ gates. On the first day, about 700 fans, issued with cards containing the game ticket and other event information, successfully used NFC ticketing.
Dr David Fraser, CTO at Blue Label Telecoms, says the conversion of the turnstiles was a reasonably painless process. “One of the companies that we’ve acquired, Ticketpros, has the rights to the tickets for Loftus, as well as for Cricket SA, Soccer City and a number of other properties. Together with them, we were able to do a refit of all of the turnstiles.”
He says the NFC card offers more than just access to a live match, but also extends to parking, VIP access, in-stadium purchases, promotions, competitions, and loyalty rewards.
Fraser adds that this is only the beginning for NFC technology adoption in the ticketing sphere. “It can be applied equally into other stadiums so there’s really no limitation on the type of turnstiles that people have. It obviously just requires more technical insights and you have to look at the needs analysis.”