How blockchain technology can support and transform your ticketing platform: insights from UEFA and KNVB

During ESSMA Spotlight, both UEFA and KNVB shared insights on how they are using blockchain technology to improve the mobile ticketing journey for its fans.

For those unfamiliar with blockchain a brief definition and what it means for mobile ticketing according to Stefan Van Hoof, Head of Ticketing & Fan Relations at KNVB:

Blockchain stores information chronologically in a decentralized peer-reviewed database on thousands of computers globally. Purchasing a ticket via blockchain is the same experience as ordering a ‘normal’ mobile ticket except there is no paper ticket instead the fan gets a mobile ticket.

Part of Mr. Van Hoof's presentation

Testing the blockchain technology

In 2018, UEFA started trials with the technology together with Olympique Lyonnais and Wembley Stadium. In addition, the technology has been used during several Europa League, Supercup and UEFA Nations League matches.

“We started this project in 2017 as a small project, and now we will be doing more than 1 million tickets for EURO 2020 in 2021.”

Michael Huemer - UEFA

KNVB successfully conducted a pilot test in November 2019 during a friendly match between the Netherlands and Estonia with 3 important lessons:

  • Helps manage stadium bans and misbehaving fans 

  • Makes entry in the stadium more secure, streamlined and smooth

  • 75% rise of gathered fan data, which is important for marketing purposes

“While blockchain ticketing is still in its early stages it holds great potential for the future.”

Stefan Van Hoof - KNVB

Key benefits

  • User-friendly: easy to download, transfer and show to stewards via your mobile device

  • Easier, faster and cheaper in distribution. For EURO 2020, the distribution of the tickets will take only 10 days, while for paper tickets it would take at least 1 month.

  • Able to gather more personalised data and learn more about when people download their tickets, at what time they arrive at the stadium, which access gate they use, etc.

  • Safer and more secure so there are less problems with scalping and/or counterfeits

  • In control of the process when someone wants to resell its ticket (possible for KNVB but not yet possible at UEFA)

“Blockchain technology now allows us to look back at transactions related to mobile tickets in our ticketing system, that we can then analyse and use to bring value and potentially take business decisions based on this data that we could not take before.”

Corentin Le Nézet - UEFA

Takeaway from Michael Huemer


Access both presentations

ESSMA Spotlight participants can access the presentations and the recorded livestreams via the ESSMA Spotlight platform. If you couldn't join us during ESSMA Spotlight, you can only access the .pdf presentations via the ESSMA Knowledge Platform.