Arsenal’s new entry system
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By Tony Attwood
Arsenal have introduced a new system of entry into the stadium this season. Although we all still have our season ticket / membership cards, these are now no longer deemed to be enough to guarantee entry into the ground, and we have been ordered (and ordered is the right word because I am not sure there has been any discussion or consultation) to put our membership cards onto our mobile phones via the “wallet” system and then flash the screen at some sort of digital “reader” to gain admission.
Being of what these days I like to call “a certain age” my first approach to solving this was to find a nine-year-old child to help me. This didn’t go down too well, and after I was released by the police I began to follow instructions both online and on my phone.
When those failed to give a breakthrough I turned to friends and those who had managed to get their cards on their phones showed me the results. While each one look reasonable, what was fascinating was that there were several different designs and sets of details coming up. Some had bar codes, some just showed membership numbers, some showed seat numbers as well.
I continued to fiddle with my mobile (as it were) and eventually did get something that looked right. Calls to Arsenal’s helpline didn’t help because there was generally a a notice that suggested the club was amazed people were phoning them, and there were very long wait times. And since I use my phone for work, I couldn’t afford to hold on for an hour or two. Or four.
So eventually I thought I would stick with the upload that I had got … until last week I turned the phone on, looked at the digital ticket and found… it had changed. Now it wasn’t mine at all, but someone else’s. A ticket for the Forest game in the north bank in fact.
Now the data on my screen didn’t tell me whose ticket this was, but to say that the appearance of someone else’s ticket on my phone was weird, was an understatement and a half. The call waiting time to talk to someone at Arsenal remained the same as before, so that was out, and thus after a day’s pondering I decided to delete the “other person’s” ticket, and all my previous attempts to get my ticket on my phone, and try again.
A mere three hours later I did it and my ticket is on my phone. Things are not quite right because my phone now shows that I have got two tickets, although I can only access one of them. All I can do is abandon my usual policy of having a drink with my pals in a bar a mile from the ground and instead get to the ground ludicrously early and then if I do gain admission, pay over the top for Arsenal’s rather inferior brew of choice.
My ticket currently shows the game for 12 August, the kick off time, the turnstyle to enter, and most importantly of all my actual block, row and seat number. If anyone else turns up in my seat I’ve got my season ticket card, and my phone. Now all I need are two bodyguards to look after me and ensure that I don’t have my phone nicked from my pocket on the way to the ground. Walking through the streets near the stadium with one hand in a pocket is not the safest approach, but I can’t think of what else to do.
But it is not all bad news. Tottenham don’t seem to be handling the Kane or the Lewis situation very well, and there is always a chance that they might hang on to Kane this season because Bayern won’t go above £100m and then lose him on a free next summer. And as we noted the majority shareholder is having a certain problem with the legal system in America.
Meanwhile our team is looking rather good, in my view, and I am hopeful of good things to come. Our six pre-season games have resulted (if we include the penalty win in the Community Whatnot as a win) in three wins, two draws and one defeat. Goals scored total 13 excluding the penalties against Manchester City, goals against eight. Add in the penalty shoot out just for fun and that reaches 17 goals scored, nine conceded.
We’ll look at the game against Forest and the team in the normal way in the forthcoming posts, but I am currently still more worried about being able to get into the ground than the result. I mean, a system that is broken enough to put someone else’s entry details in my Google Wallet is certainly broken enough to argue that I don’t look like the real Tony Attwood and should be handed over to the Norwegian police forthwith.
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