The news this week from pharma giant Pfizer that it has an effective COVID-19 vaccine has many sports and music fans hopeful their live events will be making a comeback soon.
But those events may come back with a new requirement: Proof that you have been vaccinated, or tested negative, for COVID-19.
Ticketmaster, the company that dominates North American ticket sales, is working on a new technology that would allow it to verify a ticket-holder’s COVID-19 status through their smartphone, Billboard reported Wednesday.
If someone’s status is not confirmed, they would be denied entry to the event.
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The plan is still under development, but it would require combining Ticketmaster’s app with data from “digital health passport” services like CommonPass or IBM Digital Health Pass, and data from testing and vaccine providers.
Ticket holders would request their vaccine or test provider to send their information to one of these digital pass apps, which would then send the all-clear to Ticketmaster’s app.
The Hollywood-based company won’t collect any medical information on ticket-holders, Billboard reported.
The idea is to keep events that attract thousands of people moving smoothly by having everyone tested or vaccinated in advance, rather than having on-site testing or vaccination.
“We imagine there will be many third-party health care providers handling vetting,” Ticketmaster President Mark Yovich said in a statement sent to media. “Whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval – which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified.”
Ticketmaster is also rolling out Smart Event, a set of tools to help venues and organizers restart post-pandemic, including an app that automatically custom-designs socially-distanced seating arrangements, and times the speed at which ticket-holders enter a facility, making it easier to manage the flow of people.
The company recently boasted of its ability to restart some NFL games with socially-distanced seating and all-electronic ticketing.
Yovich says some of these innovations will be permanent.
“While initially intended to help fans and organizers get back to life, some of these innovations will long outlast COVID-19, streamlining processes and providing endless opportunity to modernize the event experience,” he said in a statement last month.
“We have every confidence that the industry will prevail, and that our cutting-edge technology, local expertise, global reach and fan insights will lead the way.”