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Southern Columbia goes cashless for sporting events

If you are attending a sporting event at one school district in Columbia County, be prepared to buy your ticket in advance.

CATAWISSA, Pa. — The Southern Columbia Area School District is used to being first, as the school's football team has won the PIAA State Championship 12 times. But now, the district is one of the first in our area to do something else — go cashless at those sporting events.

"So far, it's worked out very good accountability-wise. Quickness through the gates and it helps out our ticket takers. It makes their jobs a lot easier," Southern Columbia High School Principal Bill Callahan said.

Callahan says the new ticketing system went into effect this week. Instead of buying tickets at the gate, the district is using the Hometown Fan app. Fans buy their tickets online using the app and scan their cell phones at the gate.

"If you've gone to any PIAA events in the last three years, you've used Hometown Ticketing to get inside the gates. We're just trying it here at Southern Columbia. I know we're the first school in our area, but I know there's interest from other schools that they're going to follow us," Callahan said.

But what if someone shows up wanting to pay with cash?

"They're going to have to scan the app right there, and we have extra people here at the gate to help anybody out," Callahan said.

The rules are a little different for seniors who live in the Southern Columbia Area School District. People who are 62 and older can get a pass.

"They come to the school; they can get a senior pass and go right through the line. They don't need to use the Hometown Ticketing app," Callahan said.

Callahan says in addition to convenience, another reason for the switch is difficulty finding volunteers.

"This kind of helps us out because we don't need as many people at the ticket gate, and we won't burn out people so early and hopefully have enough ticket takers throughout the year," Callahan said.

Callahan says the new ticketing system is working well so far, but the big test will be next Friday for the varsity football team's first home game.  

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