The Champions League final in France three weeks ago didn’t just make headlines for Real Madrid’s victory over Liverpool; it also caught the attention of French authorities after fake tickets and gatecrashers delayed the final.
The Paris incident prompted authorities to take action, leading them to consider adopting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for ticketing at sports events in France.
Mass ticket counterfeiting had been a catalyst for the chaos at the May 28 European final. However, the event took a turn for the worst when police turned to tear gas in an attempt to restore order, and instead resulted in a delay for more than half an hour, embarrassing authorities.
Previously, the country revealed that it had plans to integrate NFT tickets for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Last week, French Government Olympics envoy Michael Cadot submitted a report to the Office of the French Prime Minister recommending steps to prevent a similar situation at sporting events in the future. The report included a universal use of NFT ticketing.
The implementation of the new ticketing system ahead of the rugby event and Olympics would make it possible to “prefigure the planned systems and to break in the working methods as well as the reflexes of multi-factor management to face difficulties,” said Cadot in the report.
While there is a prospect of the system succeeding, the French system predicts the issuance of non-transferable digital-only tickets using blockchain technology and QR codes. The tickets would then be distributed via SMS not long before the events, and they would be activated within a security zone around the venue.
One of the biggest draws to implementing NFT for ticketing is the prevention of ticket counterfeiting and scalping, which would then increase security at events and profits for sponsors.
NFTs can also provide other functions like access to VIP areas or provide receipts of souvenir items.
Ticketing is one of the promising functions that can allow NFTs to make their way into the sporting world. While NFTs have been part of many teams’ marketing strategies since the boom in 2020, they have grown in popularity and can even be programmed for fan engagement like voting and access to physical collectibles.