Ohio State officials to work this week on digital ticketing problems before Tulsa game
Not only will the athletic department at Ohio State University be working on its football team's defensive game plan this week following an upset loss to the Oregon Ducks, but officials also have some kinks to iron out in its digital ticketing system.
Slow scanners, which were used for the first time at Ohio Stadium on Saturday for most fans after a student test-run in 2019, led to a number of fans missing some or all of the first quarter of the game.
Officials vowed to work this week to fix issues ahead of Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game against Tulsa. Jerry Emig, associate athletics director, said via email that those talks on how to improve the game-day experience have already started and would continue through the week.
"We will begin a series of meetings to discuss what we have learned from this weekend and how we will make improvements for the upcoming games," he wrote.
He said the university would have more updates on how it will specifically do that later in the week.
Fourth-year accounting and economics student Jordan Hall said he arrived at Saturday's game against Oregon 25 minutes before kickoff but didn't get into the game until several minutes had passed in the second quarter.
"Students were chanting, 'Let us in,' and people were shoved together shoulder to shoulder for over an hour with no masks on," said Hall, who entered at a gate on the south side near the "Block O" student section.
"Once we finally got in, it was literally part of a segment of time when the front gate appeared to give up and let in hundreds or thousands of people at a time without even scanning tickets."
One usher said he had never seen fans so angry and upset. The scene got so chaotic at gates 36 and 38 on the south side of the venue that police had to intervene.
The university initially responded to the situation on Saturday by issuing a statement during the fourth quarter of the game, apologizing to those who experienced delays entering the stadium or with mobile parking passes.
The statement listed "a technical issue with wi-fi and learning curves with new technologies and new systems" but added that at one point fans were allowed to bypass the scanner and just show their tickets on their cell phones to gain entry.
Wait times to get into the stadium seemed to vary depending on when and where someone tried to enter the game. On social media, some fans said it took about 20 to 25 minutes while others said they didn't have any wait time at all.
Lauryn Luderman, 19, said that she experienced an 80-minute delay at the crowded gate where she and friends entered the stadium.
"The line was not consistent and stood still for 10-plus minutes at a time," the second-year communications student wrote in an email. "Everyone in line was pinned against each other like sardines with absolutely no where to go. My friend and I were both very frustrated that we missed kickoff."