Lenoir City Board of Education approved Thursday a contract with Ticket Spicket for the virtual sale of tickets at all school events.

As the district learns more about the system, football games will be the focus for virtual ticket sales. Chris Brittain, Lenoir City High School co-athletic director, presented the contract as an addendum at the board meeting.

“With the COVID pandemic we’re in the push has been, ‘Let’s limit contact and social distance,’ and one way to do this is by going touchless with our tickets,” Brittain said. “Ticket Spicket is an online platform. … A fan would simply download the app if they chose to or they would go to the website. … With this, the priority is going to be football season. That’s where we’re going to have the most fans, the long waits, the most interaction. With Ticket Spicket, you search for the school, Lenoir City football comes up, game one, Heritage (High School), you click on the game, you purchase the ticket.”

Purchasing the online tickets won’t cost the district any extra money, but there will be some extra cost to fans. However, Brittain chose Ticket Spicket because it provided the lowest convenience fees of the available online ticket providers.

LCHS football game tickets are $8. Ticket Spicket charges a 50 cent convenience fee and a 5 percent fee for the cost of the ticket, which brings the total cost to the fan up to $8.90 — a 10 cent savings compared to other online ticket providers, Brittain said.

“You do not have to purchase that ticket online,” he said. “You can walk up to our ticket booth, you can pay the $8, you can get a paper ticket, and you can go through the gate. There’s no, ‘You have to do it this way. We’re charging you an extra 90 cents.’ This is just an option for, ‘I don’t want to exchange money. I don’t want to have to give somebody a ticket and them rip it off and give it back to me. I don’t want to wait in line with my family of four or five while it’s raining or 80-something degrees. I can go to the gate, show them my ticket and enter on’.”

Depending on the board’s decision, consumers will pay electronically or by mailed-in check.

Jeanne Barker, Lenoir City director of schools, asked if tickets purchased online would be printed or presented electronically on the consumer’s phone.

“They have an option to print it out if they have access to a printer,” Brittain said. “It will email them the ticket to print out, or if they have the mobile app, they basically go to the app, hold a button three seconds, it redeems the tickets, and they show it to the person at the gate who can check the time stamp of when they redeemed it, and they move on in.”

Matthew Coleman, school board member, brought up concerns about technology requirements.

“It says it’s a QR code, so we won’t need a QR code reader?” he said.

Brittain said the plan is to keep it simple so fans can buy tickets online and move through gates quickly. In the future, there will be more options such as season passes and offering online tickets for events like prom, graduation and other sports.

“We don’t have to (have a QR code reader). There’s an option for that,” Brittain said. “We’re just kind of hitting the tip of the iceberg with this.”

Board members Mitch Ledbetter and Glenn McNish motioned and seconded, respectively, to approve the contract. The vote was approved 4-0. School board member Bobby Johnson Sr. was absent.

In an unrelated matter, the board approved a resolution for the emergency suspension of board policies during the 2020-21 school year.