VWSD to unveil online ticket system

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Buying tickets to high school sporting events is about to enter the digital age.

For the first time, the Vicksburg Warren School District will use a web site that will allow fans to purchase advance tickets via their phones and computers. VWSD athletic director Preston Nailor said the site, GoFan.co, will go live in early July and be available in time for the 2018 football season.

“It’s just like you’re purchasing a movie ticket. You put your credit card information in, it sends you a QR code and whether you purchased a ticket or not, and when you get to the gate it shows where you’re supposed to sit and the purchase of that ticket,” Nailor said.

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The web site will initially allow fans to purchase tickets only for football games, but Nailor said there are plans to eventually expand it to basketball, baseball and softball. He expects it to be especially popular for high-demand games that often sell out, such as the Vicksburg vs. Warren Central football and basketball games, and the Warren Central vs. Clinton football game.

There is a $1.10 convenience fee charged for buying tickets from the site, but Nailor said the money it will raise for the VWSD’s athletics program is negligible.

“It’s really not a financial benefit for us. It just saves us from having to count tickets every Friday, or running to the bank to go get money. It helps everybody, because you get your tickets and it saves time and cuts down on paper,” Nailor said.

Several schools in the Jackson Metro area — including frequent VWSD opponents Clinton, Pearl, Madison Central and Ridgeland — have or are planning to use GoFan for online ticketing. Their experience with it, especially the convenience it offers visiting fans, helped convince Nailor to use it for the VWSD’s ticketing system.

“They love it. What happens now is, if we’re going to go play Pearl our fans have to stand in line and get a ticket. They can purchase a ticket online for the visitor’s side and they can walk in as normal,” Nailor said. “Same thing for them coming to us. If we play a big game with Clinton, they had to wait until Friday night to get their ticket. But now they can get it beforehand. It makes it that much easier and accessible for them instead of having to drive.”

While fans can buy tickets online, they will still have the option of buying them ahead of time at the VWSD ticket office or at the gate. The online option also is not available for the season-opening Red Carpet Bowl, which is a charity game with its own ticketing plan.

Reserved seats for regular season Warren Central and Vicksburg High football games this season are $10, and general admission is $7. Junior high and junior varsity games are $5 for all tickets.

Once the GoFan site is live, fans can find a link on the VWSD’s web site vwsd.org, or by going to GoFan.co and searching for Warren Central or Vicksburg High School.

Nailor believes once fans learn about the online option and have a good experience with it, that it will become a popular way to buy.

“A lot of people came to us last year and said, ‘Man, I wish I didn’t have to come out there and get tickets. Now they don’t have to. It makes it easier for us, but it also makes it easier for them as well,” Nailor said. “It’s going to take a lot of word of mouth. It’s going to take people actually trusting it and that this is reputable, and that they can use their phone or print a ticket to get in the game. It’s 100 percent trustworthy.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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