Ticketing still clubs' Achilles heel but a leaf is to be borrowed from AFC Leopards

© AFC Leopards

FOOTBALL Ticketing still clubs' Achilles heel but a leaf is to be borrowed from AFC Leopards

Festus Chuma 08:34 - 26.10.2023

AFC Leopards' adoption of e-ticketing boosts revenues, addresses corruption, and enhances fan convenience, setting an example for other FKFPL football clubs.

In the ever-evolving landscape of professional sports, the adoption of e-ticketing systems has proven to be a game-changer.

The recent transition by Football Kenya Federation Premier League giants, AFC Leopards, to e-ticketing is a compelling example of how this technology is reshaping the financial sustainability and fan experience within the sports industry.

AFC Leopards, like many other sports teams worldwide, found themselves grappling with dwindling gate collections and growing financial pressures.

The stark reality hit hard when only 1,028 fans turned up for a critical clash with Muhoroni Youth. In the traditional system, 41 enthusiasts opted for the VIP experience, while 987 chose regular tickets, resulting in a modest gate collection of Ksh 217,900.

The situation was far from ideal for the club's financial health, and concerns were raised about potential foul play.

However, AFC Leopards decided to tackle this issue head-on by embracing the innovative e-ticketing system. The initial test run, during a match against Shabana FC, was nothing short of astonishing.


The club reported the sale of 6,152 tickets for the event. Among these, 653 were VIP tickets, generating an impressive revenue of Ksh 326,500. The remaining 5,499 tickets were sold as regular tickets, contributing a substantial Ksh 1,099,800.

In total, the match raised an impressive sum of Ksh 1,426,300 for the club, a clear testament to the transformative power of e-ticketing, despite a number of fans forcing their way into the Ulinzi Sports Complex.

The success story did not stop there. In their next high-stakes encounter against Gor Mahia, where the e-ticketing system was again put to the test, AFC Leopards proudly announced the sale of a staggering 12,172 tickets. This translated into an impressive revenue of Ksh 2,838,300.

These figures are not just a testament to the efficacy of e-ticketing; they also reveal the uncomfortable truth about the financial irregularities that may have plagued sports events in the past.

AFC Leopards' journey into the world of e-ticketing was not only a financial savior but also a significant blow against corruption in sports.

Gate collections are the lifeblood of many clubs, and when funds are siphoned into the wrong pockets, it can have devastating consequences for a team's survival.

E-ticketing serves as a safeguard against such corruption, ensuring that every penny from ticket sales finds its way into the club's coffers.

The technology however needs streamlining with the verification process taking some time, leaving fans who arrive minutes before the match with queues to deal with.

One of the most striking advantages of e-ticketing is its ability to eliminate long lines and stampedes at stadium entrances. Gone are the days when fans had to jostle in seemingly endless queues to purchase tickets.

With e-ticketing, fans can conveniently download and print their tickets from the comfort of their homes or even purchase them on the go using their smartphones.

This streamlined process not only enhances the overall fan experience but also minimizes the risk of stampedes, making attending sporting events safer for everyone involved.

Furthermore, e-ticketing provides an opportunity for fans to have a tangible memento of the games they attend.

In the past, traditional paper tickets were collected and torn by stewards at the stadium entrance, leaving fans without a physical reminder of the exciting matches they had witnessed.

E-ticketing changes this, allowing fans to keep their tickets as cherished memorabilia, a symbol of their passion for their team and the unforgettable moments they have witnessed.

As the case of AFC Leopards demonstrates, e-ticketing is not just a smart financial move; it is a comprehensive transformation of the sports experience.

It empowers fans by providing a hassle-free ticketing process, reduces the risk of corruption, and significantly boosts the financial sustainability of sports clubs. The success of e-ticketing in this Kenyan football giant has far-reaching implications, serving as an inspiration for sports teams across the globe.

The AFC Leopards' experience should serve as a compelling case study for other sports organizations. The transformation was not without its challenges, but the benefits far outweighed any initial resistance.

The increase in revenue is just one aspect of the positive impact. The adoption of e-ticketing also created an atmosphere of transparency and trust, crucial for fan loyalty and long-term financial stability.

In today's digitally driven world, where convenience is paramount, e-ticketing is a reflection of this shift.

Fans now have the power to secure their tickets with just a few clicks, avoiding the inconvenience of long queues and last-minute rushes.

The ability to print tickets at home or display them on a mobile device is a convenience that modern sports enthusiasts have come to expect.

AFC Leopards' embrace of e-ticketing sends a strong message to the other team in the league: it is time for a revolution in the way tickets are sold and fan engagement is managed.

It is a win-win situation. Fans benefit from a seamless experience, clubs see a boost in revenue, and the shadow of corruption is lifted. The traditional paper ticket is slowly becoming a relic of the past, replaced by the efficiency and transparency of e-ticketing.

As more sports organizations recognize the potential of e-ticketing, the ripple effect will undoubtedly reshape the industry. Clubs will no longer have to worry about gate collections falling short, and fans will enjoy a stress-free ticket-purchasing process.

Moreover, the trust and credibility of sporting events will be significantly enhanced, ultimately resulting in the sustained growth of sports and the preservation of its integrity. 

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