MLB Making Strides in Paperless Tickets

MLB Making Strides in Paperless Tickets

Major League Baseball has put a whole lot of effort recently in to continuing to evolve the way fans gain entrance to games. In fact, there is a Commissioner's Ticket Review Committee that was set up for this purpose. They've come up with a paperless ticket brand known as MLB FanPass that will be used by every team in baseball. The degree to which each team will use it remains to be seen.

Sports Business Daily has an in-depth article about the new MLB FanPass initiative which tries to answer just how it would work:

Like systems in other sports, purchasers of paperless baseball tickets
will enter ballparks using their credit card, which is swiped at the
gate. Fans upon arrival then get a locator stub, created using a
portable printer, to help find their seats. For fans, the most immediate
change will be the elimination of a stack of paper tickets that need to
be stored, managed and distributed. And MLB FanPass has been integrated
into the primary ticketing systems of outside vendors such as
Ticketmaster and the MLBAM-owned Tickets.com.

As a partial season ticket holder and very frequent visitor to Citizens Bank Park, I'm a fan who loves having my ticket stub as a memento from the game. I've even emailed the Phillies in the past asking if there was any way to turn a StubHub ticket that I've printed out at home into a "real" ticket stub to keep as a memento. They responded by saying this printed out piece of paper is, in fact, a ticket stub. Meh.

It's an issue and new technology worth keeping an eye on. Is the "locator stub" mentioned by SBD substantial enough to make for a nice keepsake from a game in which Roy Halladay throws a no hitter? One can hope.

Another local team that implements a paperless ticket is the Philadelphia Union who give full season ticket holders a credit card sized... card that fits right into their wallet and is simply scanned to gain entrance. Some fans put this card in a lanyard and wear it around their neck. The technology also allows them to email printable tickets through their account with the Union to certain games if they wanted to allow a friend to use their season ticket for instance.

Change is weird. We have a certain attachment to actual physical tickets. Do you have an opinion either way?

>>MLB FanPass to make paperless ticketing push [SBD]

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."