Gone are the days of students meticulously planning the perfect time to meet up with their friends to walk over to the student ticket windows at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to get their seats for that week’s football game together.
On Aug. 1, UF will be launching the Florida Gators app, which will allow students and fans to claim tickets on their phones, said James Slagle, the assistant athletics director of revenue generation for the UF Athletic Association. This will be the first time students won’t need to visit the stadium on the week of the game to secure their tickets.
The app also allows fans to do things like purchase food and drinks from the concession stand directly on their phones, he said.
Slagle said to think of the new app as “a game day Swiss Army knife.”
“Eventually fans should just be able to bring their phone to the venue and not even have to bring their wallet if they don’t want to,” Slagle said.
The app will use Ticketmaster to manage general fan tickets and a service called Experience to manage student tickets.
Slagle said Experience will allow students with season passes to get seats with their friends when they claim their student tickets the week of the game, something Ticketmaster wouldn’t be able to do.
The app was developed with the help of a company called VenueNext. Slagle said UF is VenueNext’s first college client, but the company has already developed similar apps for the likes of Yankee Stadium and the Orlando Magic.
Slagle said the app has been in planning and development for about a year and will launch Aug. 1 as a free download from mobile stores. It will be launching in conjunction with the stadium’s new Wi-Fi, allowing fans to use it without any slowdowns.
In the future, Slagle said there’s a possibility of using the app for other things like basketball registration, if it works well for football.
Luke Rouleau, an 18-year-old UF computer engineering sophomore, said he thinks the new app is a good idea but recognizes the potential difficulties, such as getting good seats when every student has the instant convenience of being able to get tickets on their phone.
“If it works well, then that would be great,” Rouleau said. “It’s always tough to launch an app for the first time and have lots of traffic.”
Albert E. Gator greets a young Gator fan during the Orange & Blue football game in January 2019. The scrimmage held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium had 53,015 in attendance.