Soccer fans in Europe will join the ranks of early blockchain adopters thanks to a new initiative by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
According to a Feb. 17 announcement, UEFA will distribute over one million soccer match tickets via a blockchain-enabled mobile application. The organization claims that this new ticketing system will make “entry into the stadium smooth, safe and secure.”
The new blockchain-based mobile ticketing solution is meant to prevent the duplication and replication of tickets by “QR codes only being activated by Bluetooth once fans are in close proximity to the stadium.” The app will be available for download toward the end of May for both Android and iOS devices.
Tickets will be delivered no later than seven days before the match and “UEFA expects to deliver over one million mobile tickets to fans across all 51 matches.” UEFA decided to adopt this system in an attempt to facilitate ticket distribution to what is expected to be the most in-demand UEFA cup ever.
UEFA also stated that digital ticketing will help curb paper consumption and be more convenient for soccer fans:
“Supporters who purchase ‘Follow my team’ tickets will receive their mobile tickets only once their team has qualified for a specific match. The ability to deliver mobile tickets to fans close to matchday will considerably enhance the fan journey, as fans will no longer be required to visit ticket collection points to exchange ticket vouchers. ”
The initiative builds on the successful deployment of the mobile ticketing system in August 2018 for the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid held in Tallinn, Estonia.
Blockchain’s the ticket
Many sports franchises and event organizers are turning to blockchain for ticketing, as the technology promises to be a highly-effective way to prevent forgery and ensure convenience.
As Cointelegraph reported in December 2019, Ticketmaster’s vice president of blockchain products Sandy Khaund said that the technology can prevent secondary ticket markets from popping up and ensure that “tickets end up in the right hands.”
The CEO and founder of EventChain, Ashton Addison, told Cointelegraph:
“The whole point of implementing blockchain in the ticketing industry is to bring back fairness to the artists, event organizers and fans. For example, a major problem facing the industry is counterfeit tickets. Blockchain can prevent this by allowing attendees to verify the authenticity of their tickets. This also turns tickets into scarce digital assets, which are unable to be double sold.”