How Does NFT Ticketing Work in Sports Events?

A pink and purple UEFA ticket with the words "Sports events", "Ticket", and "NFT".
Updated on July 06, 2023

Imagine you are finally going to see your favorite team play a final, but when you reach the gate at the stadium, they tell you the ticket you bought weeks ago is false! Well, once again, there is a way that blockchain technology can eliminate this problem with a new use case of NFT. Fraudulent tickets are a major issue for the sports industry. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are used to address the issue of fraudulent ticketing in sports events like the Olympics and Formula 1 races by providing proof of ownership and stopping duplicate sales.

The Debacle at UEFA Champions League Final Game

Last May, the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was a disaster. A raid of fans entered the stadium by force after a massive sale of fake tickets. The mayhem made it difficult for true fans to access the game. Even though what happened was alarming, it was not a surprise at all since counterfeiting has become a huge problem for sports event managers. The National Football League (NFL) has reported over 50% annual counterfeit ticket sales.

The Implementation of NFT Ticketing

NFT tickets will be delivered to attendees by a mobile text message or QR code on your smartphone. When you get access to an event, it is done directly through your smartphone. You don’t need to print anything or go to any box office; everything is done digitally. The ticket will function as a digital asset on your phone. You won’t own that ticket – you only hold temporary access credentials for one-time use. Even though the main appeal of the NFT ticket system would be avoiding forgery, there are several other benefits to this method. The most appealing are reducing the cost of production and creating new revenue opportunities with built-in rewards or VIP benefits.

Will it be used at the 2024 Paris Olympics?

The French government is recommending issuing tickets as NFTs during the Paris 2024 Olympics. It will be up to International Olympic Committee (IOC) whether to adopt that recommendation. If they go for it, this would mean that the audience of each event will receive the coded ticket moments before the venue doors open and only if they are within the designated area. In any case, it could still take some time before any tickets are issued as NFTs.

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