Do you remember your first UCF game? The first time UCF played at Bright House Networks Stadium? UCF’s first bowl game?
How do most fans commemorate these major moments in UCF Knights history: keeping the game ticket.
But as UCF moves to digital ticketing for the 2020 season, the material ticket is not the most important thing, said Robert Aronoff (‘92).
It’s the experience that matters most.
“The material ticket is not the thing. It’s the experience that you have when you’re there,” Aronoff said. “Anything you can grab and save reminds you of the good time that you had at the game, that’s what you want, that’s what you’re trying to capture.
“It’s not the actual paper itself.”
Aronoff said he has over 100 tickets he’s kept over the years from all the UCF games he’s attended. From the Citrus Bowl to the first C-USA championship game to the Liberty Bowl, he’s able to remember the wins and the losses and everything in between. But he doesn’t consider himself a ticket collector.
“I’m a big UCF collector. And tickets are a major part of that collection,” he said. “While you can have commemorative helmets and T-shirts, the tickets really represent you actually being at the game.”
The most iconic games can be commemorated by a little perforated slip of paper pinned to an office desk or a signed season pass professionally framed on the wall or in a plastic cover attached to a lanyard.
But in 2020, something different might need to be done.
“Maybe what I’ll have to do is have to take a screen capture of my ticket on my phone and print it out and put it in a frame just for the heck of it,” Aronoff said. “This is a reminder that you were at a game in the COVID era.”
Aronoff said this isn’t the first time he’s had to get creative with his tickets, however. For the opening season at Bright House, he loved the sheet the season tickets came on so much that he printed versions of the tickets to get in the game, but kept the sheet intact in a frame. This frame would eventually be signed by everyone on the 2007 squad.
UCF Athletics announced July 22 it would adopt digital ticketing beginning this fall to limit person-to-person contact as the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve.
A mobile ticketing platform will replace mailed and print-at-home tickets. This applies for all UCF sports that require tickets to enter, according to UCF Athletics. Parking passes for football games will be mailed ahead of the 2020 season.
The new system will allow for fans to manage, view, scan, transfer and sell their tickets using their phones. Tickets will be available to access via Apple Wallet or Google Pay.
UCF introduced a similar online platform in 2018 for students to sign up for and transfer student and guest tickets for football and basketball games.
These alternatives to physical tickets doesn’t change the fact that UCF collectors will have less memorabilia to hold onto as the seasons progress.
“Just grab and save something that reminds you of the memories you have at the game instead of worrying too much about the fact that you don’t have a fancy ticket,” Aronoff said.
Although UCF Athletics announced a generic ticket stock would be available for those who prefer physical tickets or don’t have a phone, it’s just not the same.
UCF Athletics has not yet announced what this means for season ticket holders, but Danny White said in July he would offer different options for members depending on if fans are allowed to attend games in person or not.
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for the Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.