Major League Baseball will expand its use of Apple’s Passbook to 13 stadiums this year, up from four at the end of last season.
MLB made the announcement at a fan event in New York City, explaining that seven additional teams will accept mobile tickets via Passbook on opening day in April and three more will add the capability throughout the season.
According to an event report by gigaom.com, the following teams will accept mobile tickets at the start of the season: Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s and Pittsburgh Pirates. Three teams that began accepting the app at the end of last year — Kansas City Royals, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants — will continue to do so at the start of the season. The three remaining teams were not ready to make an official announcement at the time of launch.
MLB became the first professional sports league to offer the new mobile ticket option last September, and the initial four teams (the above, as well as the Boston Red Sox) accepted the service for the final two weeks of the 2012 season. Mashable.com reports that 12 percent of single-game tickets purchased were added to Passbook during that two-week period.
A press release about last year’s launch stated that fans have numerous options for buying mobile tickets: MLB.com, the teams’ official websites or through the MLB At Bat or At The Ballpark mobile apps.
“The Passbook app will be a great option for baseball fans to store their tickets on their iPhones,” Adam Ritter, senior vice president of wireless at MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), said in the release. “Building from Tickets.com’s open technology, we are able to seamlessly integrate the fans’ purchasing experiences.”
Bob Bowman, CEO of MLBAM, told gigaom.com that 70 percent of free versions of the MLB At Bat app are installed on the iOS platform, though that number is shrinking as Android becomes more popular. However, the iOS platform accounts for 85 percent of the paid version of the app, which may further explain why MLB is working so closely with Apple for its mobile strategy.
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