By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – Paper tickets for Broncos games are no more.

The NFL team has announced next season will start the use of a digital ticket to be received on smartphones. If you don’t have a smartphone there is a solution available called a radio frequency ID card.

The team says the change is for convenience and to get rid of fraudulent tickets made out of paper.  CBS 4 investigator Rick Sallinger has reported on ticket fraud over the years. He caught up with a young man who was 10 years old in 2007 when he and his father were unable to get into a game because someone sold them fake tickets.

Dakota Kilbourn is now 21 and still remembers that day,

“I was little kid expecting to go to a Broncos game, we get there and you can’t go in,” he recalled.

tickets Broncos Moving To Paperless Ticket System To Combat Fraud

(credit: CBS)

Times have changed for Dakota Kilbourn and the Denver Broncos.

We met Dakota and his late father Chuck 10 years ago. He spent $300 to take  Dakota to a Broncos game for his 11th birthday. The tickets turned out to be fake.

Back then Chuck said, “People these days don’t have to be that cruel, they don’t.”

tickets 2 Broncos Moving To Paperless Ticket System To Combat Fraud

(credit: CBS)

Denver police arrested three men from Atlanta and were charged with selling counterfeit Broncos tickets.

At the time Sallinger confronted one of the three, “You know a man was trying to take his son there for his birthday?” The man replied,  “I didn’t have anything to do with it… I’m improperly accused.”

Now in hopes of eliminating ticket fraud, the Broncos are going to digital tickets.

tickets 1 Broncos Moving To Paperless Ticket System To Combat Fraud

(credit: CBS)

Like some other NFL teams, they will be accessed by phone.

They can be transferred to other people. Dakota didn’t hesitate when told of the plan, “I think it’s definitely a good idea so it doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

But with the bad that happened a decade ago, there was also good. Gary and Evan Carter gave them their tickets for a game. Gary has since passed away. Then Dakota told CBS 4, “I didn’t know people could so cruel and now people can be really nice to people.”

And there was more. The mother of then-Broncos player DJ Williams took Dakota and his dad to a game. Dakota recalls it vividly, “It was amazing how they reached out to us brought us in and treated us like family,” he said.

Broncos ticket holders will be able to access their tickets on a “Broncos 365” app and through  “Ticketmaster account manager” on their smartphones.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award-winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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