Dodgers going Green has collectors seeing Red

Will Isabella lives in New York City and has been a Dodger fan his entire life – he is 62 years old. Isabella was one of a group of twelve loyal ThinkBlueLA followers who made the trip out to Camelback Ranch for spring training last season – a group that included die-hard Dodgers fans from Nova Scotia, Brooklyn, Ohio, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and of course California. Isabella’s goal was to get several of his 1970’s-era Dodgers playoff and World Series ticket stubs autographed by players who actually played in those games – a goal which he successfully accomplished.

Lifelong Dodger fan Will Isabella gets an autograph from Dodger legend Tommy Davis during srping training 2013. Isabella ill no longer have the luxury of getting actual hard ticket stubs autographed. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Lifelong Dodger fan Will Isabella getting an autograph from Dodger legend Tommy Davis during spring training 2013. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

Living in New York Isabella doesn’t get out this way very often. In fact, his last visit to Dodger Stadium was a brief turnaround visit for Game-2 of the 2009 NLDS – the infamous Matt Holliday groin-shot game. Isabella was fortunate enough to get his ticket stub from that memorable game autographed by several Dodgers who played in that game while at spring training last season. Although Isabella cannot make it out for spring training this year due to his busy work schedule and because of the costs involved, he is coming out to LA for the Dodgers 2014 home opener against the Hated Ones and had every intention of adding his ticket stubs from these games to his ticket stub collection, which he estimates to be around 150.

On Thursday morning Will Isabella received some devastating news – the Dodgers have decided to do away with hard tickets and are going to paperless tickets instead – paperless for the Dodgers, that is. It is anything but paperless for those buying tickets, as they must now bear the cost of printing out their own tickets “at home or at your office,” as Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten says. But what if you don’t have an office or your boss doesn’t allow you to print out personal stuff while at work? Or what if you do not own a computer or printer? Or what if you are, say… traveling out from New York with the uncertainty that you will even be able to print out your tickets at the hotel you are staying at? No problem because Kasten says that Dodger fans will have “…the ability to use (your tickets) via your smartphone to enter the stadium.”

Sounds great, right?


Like many others, Isabella does not own a smartphone, nor does he have any plans of getting one anytime soon; and he sure isn’t going to buy one just so that he can have three Dodger tickets scanned from it.

Will Isabella uses his non-smartphone to call and razz some of his Mets fan co-workers as the Dodgers pound the Mets during a game at Citi-Field. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Isabella uses his non-smartphone to call and razz some of his Mets fan co-workers as the Dodgers pound the Mets during a game at Citi Field.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

“It makes me feel sad,” said the lifelong Dodger fan in his heavy New York accent. “I’ve been collecting ticket stubs from Dodger games since I was 12 years old. My father and I would make a special trip each year to a Mets ticket outlet and buy our tickets for Mets-Dodgers games at Shea Stadium. It was a big deal for me and we left with actual tickets that they printed out right there while we waited. There wasn’t any TicketMaster and it wasn’t computerized like it is today. It was very personal and very individualized back then.”

Could this be more about the Dodgers saving money on printing and shipping than going paperless? Because it sure doesn’t look paperless to me.

Could this be more about the Dodgers saving money on printing and shipping than going paperless? Because it sure doesn’t look paperless to me.

Isabella isn’t the only Dodger fan upset with this new paperless ticket system. As expected, Twitter lit up immediately following the announcement:

These are only a few of the tweets posted afte the Dodgers announced that they were going paperless with their tickets.

These are only a few of the tweets posted after the Dodgers announced that they were going paperless with their tickets.

Baseball memorabilia collectors or Dodger fans like Will Isabella and Roberto Baly who, in the past, kept their ticket stubs will now have an impersonal sheet of paper that they must print out themselves in advance. Heaven forbid they should forget to do so (or run out of ink or paper) and arrive at Dodger Stadium without it (and don’t have a smartphone). It will also be very difficult to get a flimsy print-at-home ticket autographed without it getting wrinkled or creased – not to mention how much space will now be required to save them in a binder.

“I’m not very happy about this,” Isabella concluded. “But I guess it’s just a sign of the times.”


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10 Responses to “Dodgers going Green has collectors seeing Red”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I don’t think it’s truly about being green. Unless everyone has a smartphone, how is a full sheet of paper used at home more green than a ticket? It’s about saving a few bucks and will cost some jobs in the longer run.

    This from a Steve Dilbeck article:

    Q: My grandfather does not have a printer or a smartphone. How is he supposed to get into the game?

    A: The Dodgers will provide paper tickets to any fan without access to a printer or smartphone, but they expect very few fans to fit into this category.

    Check it out Will.

  2. lindav says:

    I, too, am seeing red. I collect tickets not only from baseball games but also from every show or event I attend. I enjoy my album of stubs and when I take the time to look at it, I get to enjoy the memory of that event again and again. Sheets of paper just aren’t the same – there are no color photos on a sheet of paper either. Give us back the tickets.

  3. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I guess my attending games will be a thing of the past if I don’t get my printer to work. I hate change and I’m having a tough time keeping up with Progress.


    Sorry to hear about this buddy! Thats a real kick to the good ol’ boys!

    A sign of the times is right! I just bought tickets to a Jack Johnson concert in Quincy Wa in August. I was informed at checkout, that my entry into the event would be scanning my credit card I used to purchase the tickets!!!!! I don’t even get the option to print the damn tickets! So my question to that is, what happens if I inadvertently cancel that card? Or some other problem occurs like the card won’t scan???? I can tell you one thing, if I drive 8 hours to the middle of nowhere and my card doesn’t work, IMA GONNA BE A LITTLE UPSET!!
    Needless to say I would definitely feel a whole lot better with a paper ticket in my hand!

  5. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I’m going to call Citi Field and Yankee Stadium on Monday to make sure I can still purchase tickets at the ballparks. It will be very disappointing if I can’t.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Joe, this is only a Dodger Stadium thing – for now, that is. And even at that, you can still get tickets at the ballpark as long as the games that you want tickets for aren’t sold out (and they will be hard tickets, too).

      That being said, this is the wave of the future and it is only a matter of time before other teams go to this (or something similar) – especially the larger market teams (like the Yankees and Mets).

  6. OldBrooklynFan says:

    Thanks Ron, I did check earlier this morning and found that neither the Mets nor the Yankees are making any changes and regular tickets are still being sold at the ballparks and through the mail.
    Yes, your right, times are changing and we must be prepared.

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