Digital ticketing at Ohio State game runs smoothly after more scanners, staff added
On a hot Saturday afternoon, a sea of scarlet-and-gray-clad fans made their way into Ohio Stadium to watch the Buckeyes' second home football game against Tulsa.
But unlike last weekend's game, which saw the university dealing with slow digital tickets scanners and guests missing a majority of the first quarter, fans seemed to be walking into the gates with no problems.
That was the case for Catherine Vance, 63, and her son, Ryan Vance, 34, who went in during the first quarter. This was the first game of the season for Catherine and the second for Ryan. The Columbus resident said he experienced some difficulty getting inside the stadium last week as he had to go through the metal detectors multiple times and pull up the Ohio State Buckeyes app on his phone.
"I think it was at gate 18," Ryan said. "I waited for about 10 minutes."
Friends Trina Matthews, 36, and Katie Gill, 35, arrived at the stadium at 1:45 p.m. to avoid any issues with tickets. Gill said the process was smooth.
"I had them (the tickets) on the Ohio State Buckeyes app and then I put them in my Google Pay wallet so I didn't need WiFi to pull them up," she said.
The Ashville resident said she was "delightfully surprised" that she and Matthews were able to get in the game without a hitch.
"We had no problems getting in," she said. "I was anticipating A) a wait and B) for it to be more difficult than it was, based on what I heard happened last weekend."
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A smoother weekend for OSU fans
After last Saturday's gameday problems issues with digital ticketing scanners and mobile parking passes, the university announced Wednesday that it would be taking steps for a smoother process.
Officials said they're adding more engineering support on site from the department's WiFi partner to monitor and manage connections while beefing up staffing and the number of scanners at the stadium, according to a press release.
An additional 27 staff members were on hand to run an extra 27 pedestal scanners at gates that experienced the heaviest traffic, which totaled up to 147 scanners on site.
Justin Maurer, a supervisor for Best Security, was watching over gate 20. He said the metal detector briefly went down after a fan bumped into it, but was able to resolve the issue in minutes. Maurer said everything else was running smoothly.
"The hardest thing is the older generation pulling up the app on their phone," he said.
However, there were employees on site to help fans retrieve their tickets, Maurer said. He also said that every other gate was closed in order to control the rush of fans flooding the stadium.
Benjamin Johnson, the senior director for media relations at Ohio State, said the ticket process was more successful this weekend.
"We tried to remind people as much as possible to download their tickets to their wallet and arrive early," he said. "We saw mostly a smooth and pleasant experience getting into the game."
Johnson said the university will assess the ticketing situation after each game and make changes and upgrades if necessary.
Rodney and Kathleen Perkins of Xenia sat outside gate 20 to get some relief from the heat. Rodney, 74, said it took him about a week to figure out how to download the Ohio State app on his phone since he had never used an app before.
"None of them said tickets, just a bunch of Ohio State apps," he said.
Yet after downloading the right one, he was able to purchase his tickets and run them through the scanner.
"People seem to know what to do this time," Kathleen, 73, said about the gate process.