Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Oakland Athletics are reportedly piloting a NFC-powered ticketing system that enables fans to use their iPhones or Apple Watch to gain entry to the Oakland Coliseum on gamedays.
According to TechCrunch, the system – which is similar to how contactless rewards cards work through Apple Pay – was piloted during six of the Athletics’ home games starting 22 September, just days after the launch of iOS 11 on 19 September.
The system trial represents the first time that a professional sporting event has supported contactless tickets in Apple Wallet. The Athletics were also the first team to use mobile ticketing via text messaging back in 2007.
The technology is being developed by Tickets.com, which is a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). The site is behind the ticketing for 23 of the 30 MLB teams and are working with those teams, as well as clients outside of the MLB, to see the technology implemented in 2018.