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Jets move into digital age with ticket card

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The Canadian Press, Winnipeg Free Press
1/15/2013 7:32:24 PM
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WINNIPEG -- The NHL Winnipeg Jets' move into the digital age will not be accompanied by fees for printing off tickets or forwarding them to friends, family or clients.

Jim Ludlow, president and CEO of True North Sports & Entertainment, did his best to quell a firestorm that erupted Monday after season ticket holders started receiving their season ticket packages in the mail.

But instead of a book of brightly coloured tickets featuring the logos of the Jets and all of their opponents -- like they received last year -- they found a season ticket card and a booklet explaining the first phase of the team's "digital ticketing platform."

The booklet details how the primary ticket holder can use the card to enter the MTS Centre for Jets games on their own, forward tickets for individual games to other people in their group or clients, or print off paper tickets to games.

But it was the explanation that, after this season, there would be a ticket forwarding administrative fee of $2.50 that sent disgruntled Jets fans to Twitter and Facebook to express their indignation about higher costs for future years.

Then the policy on the fee apparently changed overnight -- Ludlow said that, unlike the policy outlined in the booklet given to ticket holders, there will not be a fee next season or any subsequent season for forwarding or printing off tickets at home.

"There has been some question about the fee. The intention is for the fee to be waived year after year. We've heard our fans," Ludlow said.

"It's a logical move into the digital world. The digital ticketing platform has to start somewhere. Sometimes it feels odd when you print (tickets) at home, but that's it."

There will be a fee, however, if fans want physical "spitter stock" tickets, the generic tickets featuring nothing but the game information. Ludlow said the team would charge $60 for this service for the 2012-13 season if fans want to "touch and feel" their tickets.

The full-colour game tickets that were sent out to season ticket holders last year, however, no longer exist.

Ludlow said he understands memorabilia collectors may be interested in these ducats -- framers did a brisk business last year displaying them for posterity -- and while there are no plans to print them, that could change, he said.

The Jets are one of a handful of teams to go the digital ticket route this season. Edmonton and Calgary are the other Canadian ones, Ludlow said.

Putting a significant dent in ticket fraud is one of the driving forces behind the new ticketing system. Ludlow wasn't able to attach a number to what fraudulent tickets might have cost the Jets or their fans last year but he said it's something the team is watching "very carefully."

MTS Centre  (Photo: Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
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