- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2020

Ticketmaster is exploring options for concertgoers and sports fans to be able to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status or negative test results prior to attending an event, the company told Billboard magazine Wednesday.

Ticketmaster would reportedly use smartphones and third-party reporting software to verify fans’ vaccination status or whether they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus within a 24-to-72-hour window before an event.

Under the reported plan, which is still in its early stages, customers who purchase a ticket to an event will have to verify that they have had a vaccine, which is expected to be developed and distributed by early next year. Those results would then be sent to a health pass company, like CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass, which would then verify the attendee’s COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, Billboard reported. Ticketmaster then would provide the necessary credentials for the customer’s event access or deny their purchase depending on the verification status.

Ticketmaster would only see the verification status and would not have any access to fans’ medical records, Billboard reported.

Third-party reporting has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration but Ticketmaster President Mark Yovich expects the demand will skyrocket along with the demand to reopen the economy once a vaccine is distributed, Billboard reported.

“We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval — which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” Mr. Yovich said. “Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients.”

Ticketmaster clarified in a statement Thursday to The Washington Times that the plan is only a “potential concept” and that safety and entry requirements would ultimately fall to the event organizer.

“It was widely misreported yesterday that Ticketmaster will be requiring vaccine status/test results for future events. This is not true,” the company said. “Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies for safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That is up to the discretion of the event organizer. We are indeed exploring these options, but it is still only a potential concept. And Ticketmaster will not be able to require such parameters — it would always be up to the event organizer.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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