Future Ticketing chief Liam Holton has inked a deal with Tipperary GAA
TULLAMORE company Future Ticketing has signed a deal with Tipperary GAA for ticket-only admission to club championship games in the Premier County.
The cashless ticketing arrangement will see supporters having to purchase tickets before entry to any game in both the football and hurling championships in the county.
Future Ticketing, a global provider of digital ticketing for events of all kinds ranging from agricultural shows to rugby and soccer matches in Ireland and the UK, is based in the Axis Business Park in Tullamore.
Liam Holton, Future Ticketing chief executive, told the Tullamore Tribune the company was delighted to partner with the “GAA's founding county and All Ireland champions as our first county board partner”.
“We are looking forward to working with other counties to ensure a safe return to matches for the GAA community,” said Mr Holton.
The Tipperary club championships begin on July 17 with football and hurling clubs swing into action the following weekend.
The details were announced this afternoon at the launch of the FBD Insurance championships in Semple Stadium.
Participating clubs and season ticket holders will be given priority access to tickets with any unsold tickets going on public sale through the Tipperary website every Thursday.
Tipperary county GAA board is in discussion with a number of companies with the view to streaming two games each weekend, but no precise information is available on this right now, according to TipperaryLive.ie
Holders of Croke Park Plus Passes, Tipperary County Board Season Pass and Tipperary Concession passes will be given a 24-hour online priority purchase window in advance of each game to claim their ticket for each game.
Using technology which was perfected by Future Ticketing for Champions League and ERC Rugby matches, Tipperary Season Ticket Holders will be able to use their card to claim their ticket for one game per day.
To ensure full correct contact tracing information is available, the board season ticket holders, and Concession Pass holders will be asked to register in advance for this service.
Any remaining tickets will be made available through the Tipperary GAA website and social media channels on a first come first served basis on the Thursday before matches.
On match day, tickets from either mobile phones or printouts will be scanned using high tech laser mobile scanners at each venue in order to ensure that full contact tracing information for all attendees will be available to statutory authorities should it be required.
Announcing the new scheme today, Tim Floyd, county board secretary said: "We are really looking forward to having championship matches back and to welcoming supporters to all the grounds around the county. Limited capacity means we have to make difficult choices and our priority is to ensure that we create as safe an environment as possible for all our supporters and to absolutely minimise any risk factors. By removing cash, we are reducing a risk of contamination and also minimising the dangers for volunteers on the day and in advance."
Board chairman John Devane said that some people will be disappointed as a result of the limited capacity but said the board has worked tirelessly to source the safest and most flexible system available.
“I would like to thank Ronan Burns and all at Future Ticketing for giving us the benefit of their software and also their experience which stretches from Champions League matches to the National Ploughing Championships and includes ticket sales in 140 countries."
Michael Berkery of FBD Insurance wished the board well for the smooth running of the championships and said that the GAA had displayed great leadership during the lockdown, and a remarkable capacity to cope with the extraordinary circumstances which faced each and every community in Tipperary.
According to Mr Holton, in 2018 about €30 million worth of tickets was sold through Future Ticketing and last year that doubled to €60 million.
Future Ticketing has clients across the economy in Ireland and the UK, including soccer clubs, shows (including the Tullamore Show), conferences, ice hockey clubs, rugby clubs and numerous racecourses.
In April the company continued its expansion into English sport by signing up Rochdale United, the club managed buy Brian Barry-Murphy, son of hurling legend Jimmy, and Fleetwood Town, where Joey Barton is the manager.
Speaking to the Tribune after closing that deal, Mr Holton said that while ticket sales were obviously hit, he believed the coronavirus pandemic would help his business in the long run.
“I continue to be optimistic,” he remarked. “A lot of sports and organisations are using this as an opportunity to look at their software. We have to look forward. Our business is based on long-term partnerships with our customers and growing their business so whereas we're all going through this short-term pain, long-term we're going to be stronger as a result
“The fundamentals won't change. If anything in our business people's shopping patterns will change and there'll be even more of a migration online.”
Future Ticketing supplies its software directly to its clients rather than acting as an agent for them.
This gives businesses such as football clubs direct contact with their customers and an opportunity to control their customer journey from ticket purchase to entering the stadium.
The company has been supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Offaly Local Enterprise Office.