The Masters cracks down on scalpers with high-tech tickets

The Masters are waging war on online ticket re-sellers with the use of some high-tech ticketing.

Tickets to the Masters Tournament have become one of the hottest tickets in sport which means online re-sellers have made huge profits from selling Masters tickets online. But this year Masters organisers have implemented a new tactic to thwart the resale of tournament tickets by adding some extra coding to the tickets.

The Masters Tournament only issues a limited number of tickets each year – to members, players, lifelong patrons, employees, volunteers and those in the lottery draw. In combination with Augusta National, a golf course near-perfect for spectating, it has become a bucket-list event for golfers worldwide most.

So it’s no surprise that the online reselling of Masters tickets has grown each year. As long as the unique identification number on the top of each badge is hidden, and therefore couldn’t be cancelled or tracked back to the original recipient of the ticket, you could re-sell your ticket. Often at exorbitant prices.

This year The Masters have employed a new campaign to counter the online re-sellers.

In addition to the identification number, all tickets have been issued with added colour coding that uniquely identifies each ticket, even with the identification number hidden. If an image of the ticket is posted online and image captured by tournament organisers, the ticket can immediately be cancelled rendering it useless for entry into Augusta National.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to attend a Masters Tournament will tell you about the inexpensive food and drinks inside the grounds, and the friendly atmosphere that allows patrons to leave a chair in the same spot safe in the notion they can return to sit in it at any time during the day.

The exorbitant ticket prices that re-sellers are asking and getting for Masters tickets would run counter to how Augusta National would like the tournament to be managed. But the crack down means that many patrons and tour operators are scrambling to make sure they have valid tickets available.

So while on one hand The Masters should be commended for finding a way to thwart the resale of tickets for huge profits and aiming to control who enters the gates at a reasonable price, you do have to think that on the other hand this measure will impact many unsuspecting patrons and tour operators who will arrive at Augusta National only to find their tickets won’t allow anyone through the gates.

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