On Monday, Major League Baseball announce the debut of a new near-field communication (NFC) ticketing solution that will enable fans to enter a stadium by tapping their phone or Apple Watch.
The technology was trialed during a six-game home stand for the Oakland Athletics that began Sept. 22, after the launch of iOS 11. NFC ticketing uses the same technology as the contactless rewards system from Apple Pay.
According to TechCrunch, the home stand marked the first use of the technology outside of contactless rewards cards or stored-balance gift cards. The trial run was also the first time Apple Wallet’s contactless tickets have been supported at a professional sporting event.
NFC ticketing technology — in development by Tickets.com, a subsidiary of MLBAM — is said to be more secure than mobile barcode tickets, as a barcode can be replicated, and more accurate and efficient than trying to scan a barcode from a screen.
Tickets.com is responsible for ticketing procedures for 23 MLB teams, and will be working with those teams to implement NFC ticketing before the 2018 season.