Tulsa State Fair Moves To Digital Ticket System For First Time; Hopes To Curtail Counterfeiting

Tuesday, October 5th 2021, 1:55 pm
By: Emory Bryan

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa State Fair changed to an electronic ticketing system this year, abandoning a previous system that generated only educated guesses about the true number of people attending.

They are now using a computerized system for ticketed entry, instead of paper tickets that led to uncertainty. The estimates in recent years have ranged from 900,000 to 1,100,000 people, but the new system will have an exact number of ticketed entries in the gates.

The Fairgrounds bought the new system in part because of a totally "touchless" option to buy and redeem tickets. The former system relied on weighing tickets after they were torn in half and estimating the number.

“You can purchase them online and have them in your Apple wallet, so just like a football game or a concert, you can show up and they can scan it on your phone,” said Amanda Blair, the Chief Operating Officer for the Fairgrounds.

She said the system would also eliminate counterfeit tickets.

Most people entering the gates Tuesday appeared to be using paper tickets, which are different this year and include a code that is scanned at the gate.

“It's much nicer, you don't have to wait for them to tear it, they just scan it and nobody has to touch anything," fairgoer Emily Jacoby said.

On the midway, the system is the same as in years past, either wristbands or paper tickets are needed for rides.

Last year, an official with the Public Facilities Authority, which oversees the operation of the fairgrounds, pleaded guilty to embezzling $654,000 in cash from box offices sales at the fairgrounds over several years. 

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