No tickets at the door: App, website only for G-Men football fans | New

BLUEFIELD, Virginia – Area residents hoping to buy a ticket to Saturday’s semi-final showdown between Graham and Appomattox will need to be familiar with the internet.

Tickets for the game can only be purchased online through the GoFan app or through the Virginia High School League website. No tickets will be sold at the Mitchell Stadium gate in Bluefield. After purchasing tickets online, a digital ticket receipt will then need to be displayed on a mobile device to access the stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

No paper tickets will be sold at the door as per Virginia High School League rules. The agency said it stopped selling paper tickets last year due to the pandemic.

Officials in the city of Bluefield, Va. Are furious at the process and fear that some fans who don’t know how to buy tickets online will be turned away at the door.

“Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard of?” Buefield, Va., Mayor Donnie Linkous said on Tuesday. “There are people all over the state who go to the playoffs. They don’t care who plays. If they’re driving this far from Bristol and Roanoke and can’t get in, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s ridiculous. What if the internet goes down there on game day and someone’s tickets aren’t showing on their phone? “

To participate in Saturday’s game, fans in the region who wish to cheer on the undefeated G-Men will need to either download the GoFan app on their mobile phone, create an account with a username and password and have a a credit card to purchase their digital tickets. Next, they will need to display a digital copy of their ticket on a mobile device at the door. If you do not wish to download the app and create an account, you can repeat the above process online by visiting the Virginia High School League website at / to buy tickets. A digital ticket receipt will then be sent to your email account to access Mitchell Stadium.

Linkous said he spoke Tuesday night with Virginia High School League executive director Dr Billy Haun and begged the league to sell paper tickets at the door.

Linkous said the league rejected his request.

“They are not going to change their minds,” the mayor said Tuesday evening after speaking with Haun.

Linkous said city officials did not understand why the league would not allow ticket sales at the entrance to Mitchell Stadium on Saturday – since that is how tickets were sold all year round for the games. by Graham.

“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of,” Linkous said of Virginia High School League rules, adding that Virginia Tech fans can buy tickets at the Lane Stadium gate for watch the Hokies play in Blacksburg, Va. However, Graham G-Men fans inexplicably cannot buy tickets at the Mitchell Stadium gate to cheer on their local high school football team, Linkous said.

“I’m not at all tech-savvy,” Linkous said. “I can guarantee you that when I hang up with you, I won’t be able to access my phone and buy a ticket. Also, not everyone wants to divulge their credit card information (online). “

Still, the city wants as many citizens as possible to be on hand at Mitchell Stadium on Saturday to cheer on the G-Men. Linkous said city officials were still working Tuesday night on a plan to make the process of buying tickets online easier for citizens who might not be comfortable with online shopping.

The problem is that some older residents in the area who aren’t tech-savvy don’t know how to buy a ticket online and get a digital receipt, said Chuck Presley, a member of the Bluefield, Va. City council.

“They make it a little harder than it should be,” Presley said. “For a lot of people here, we’re all kind of stuck in the way we’ve done it. There should have been another option.

Last week, when the G-Men beat the Ridgeview Wolfpack at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield to win their ticket to Saturday’s semi-final, fans were able to purchase tickets at the gate of Mitchell Stadium.

Now, a week later, the Virginia High School League tells them they can’t buy tickets at the door, Presley said.

“I think it’s confusing for everyone,” Presley said. “We just want to watch a football game. We’re not trying to launch a rocket.

Another concern that was raised on Tuesday is whether the GoFan app will work on cellphones with an Android operating system. Presley was unable to get the app to work on his Android phone on Tuesday.

Contacted Tuesday by the The telegraph of the day, Virginia High School League representatives insisted that everyone should know how to buy tickets online and use a digital QR code. The league also suggested on Tuesday that it was up to Graham High School and city officials to help educate area residents about the online ticketing process.

“Buy a ticket online,” Haun said in response to repeated questions from the The telegraph of the day on how non-tech-savvy area residents will participate in Saturday’s game. “First of all, you don’t need to download an app, and there’s a QR code on the website. We also sent all of this information to Graham High School yesterday.

Haun said the league has been selling tickets online for over a year and everyone should have known.

“We made tickets online for every event last year,” Haun said. “So this is nothing new and we announced to our members probably in July or August that we would continue with our tickets online. This information has been out for a long time.

When asked why the league wouldn’t sell tickets at the door, Haun said the league halted on-site ticket purchases more than a year ago due to the pandemic.

“We’ve done this a lot of times in the past year at a lot of different schools,” Haun said of the online-only ticket sales. “In urban schools and rural schools. and schools and communities just worked and understood.

With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, Haun said it was “safer” for fans to purchase their tickets online.

“It’s a much safer process to do that rather than exchanging money,” Haun said. “It’s faster. People don’t have to queue to buy tickets. It’s a lot faster than going through the door. Operationally, it’s a lot easier.

Haun said anyone who doesn’t understand how to buy a ticket online should call Graham High School, once again saying the school has digital QR codes that can be sent home to parents.

“I guess Graham, like most school divisions, has a way of communicating with their parents,” Haun said.

When asked to explain how the process works for someone who has never purchased a high school football ticket online, Haun said the buyer would receive an email stating their ticket purchase. digital. He said the digital email receipt must then be presented at the door as proof of ticket purchase. Haun also said residents would be able to show their digital email receipt on their mobile device at the door even if internet service is down, referring to earlier concerns expressed by Linkous about recent internet outages in the area. the Bluefield, Virginia area.

When asked if the league would have representatives at the gate on Saturday to handle the digital ticket confirmation process, Haun said Graham High School would be responsible for ensuring that only those who purchased a ticket online can enter Mitchell Stadium.

“They will have people at the door. Graham High School will be able to do that, ”said Haun.

Tickets purchased through the GoFan app or the online website also include a service charge in addition to the regular general admission ticket fee of $ 10, the league confirmed on Tuesday.

Lindsey Mullins, director of media relations for the Tazewell County School Board, said the school system will try to help parents as much as possible.

“I called the VHL directly, and they confirmed that the only way to buy the tickets is directly through the website or the app, and you show your tickets on your mobile device at the door,” Mullins said. .

Mullins said it was probably easier to buy tickets directly from the Virginia High School League website than to have to download the app.

“The website is easier for most people,” she said.

Mullins said the community will complete the process in time for Saturday’s big game.

“It’s just kind of where we’re at,” she said. “We’re just going to have to work together through this.”

If the G-Men win on Saturday, they will advance to the state championship game. That’s why city officials want as many local fans as possible to come forward and support the G-Men on Saturday.

“You want to make sure you load the stadium,” Presley said.

City officials hope to have more information available later today on how to buy tickets online.

– Contact Charles Owens at [email protected]

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