For years I have kept a Dodgers souvenir cup at home. The cup is nothing special, just a $10 novelty glass from the stadium when I got a soda one time.
But, what I store within the cup makes it special. This is where I keep my stash of ticket stubs for every game I have attended at Dodger Stadium.
Apparently, the Dodgers are looking to stop the collection in its tracks, as they are moving to eliminate paper tickets. Starting this Spring, season-ticket holders will have to print bar codes from home, or download them to their smartphone, for entry into Dodger Stadium.
For a few years my family shared season tickets with a pool of Dodger fans. It was always exciting to receive the giant sheets of passes in the mail, lay them out on the table, and think about how much fun it was going to be to watch all those games in person.
I may not be a season-ticket holder anymore, but Dodger Stadium has always been a frequent destination for family outings and friendly get-togethers.
Over the past few years, a Print-At-Home option has become prevalent for sporting events and concerts. While the service offers greater convenience, I always opt for delivery via snail-mail because of the feeling I get when my ticket stub comes in the mail.
There is an added excitement to ripping open the envelope from TicketMaster and lifting out my passes to the next big game. Or, I could just download a .PDF and hit CTRL+P--woohoo?
The ticket stub is iconic and revered for its nostalgia-inducing powers. Just a glance can transport you to the time you lost your voice at an Andre Ethier walk-off, watched the Ks pile-up at a Clayton Kershaw strikeout-a-thon, or got a little too riled up during a benches-clearing brawl.
2013 had many memorable moments that were worthy of saving your ticket stub. But, does anybody actually want to save a sheet of creased paper with a bar code slapped in the middle--even worse, you probably had to print it in greyscale, because the color ink cartridge ran out.
Call me crazy, but I guess I get a little romantic when talking about ticket stubs.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense for the Dodgers to make this move. There is no advantage for them to print out tickets to 81 games for 30,000 season-ticket holders. That is over two million stubs!
Also there is something to be said for the convenience of walking around with access to the stadium in your smartphone. Hopefully this can elimiate the mini-heart attack you get on the way to the stadium when someone asks, "Did you grab the tickets?"
The paper-free change begins in 2014 and only applies to season-ticket holders. So for fans buying mini-plans or single-game tickets, may your ticket stub collection live on--at least for this season.