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Clear scores biometric partnership with NBA to provide Health Pass for fans in all 30 stadiums

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Clear has formed a partnership with the National Basketball Association to provide biometric technology for COVID-19 health screening to all 30 arenas used by NBA teams, ESPN reports. The partnership is intended to help facilitate the safe attendance of more fans to watch games, with implementation details left up to the individual teams.

League sources told the publication there are currently no plans to have players use Clear’s technology.

A third of the league is already using the company’s biometric technology in the form of its Clear Health Pass program. The company also brought on former NBA executive Jerome Pickett as its senior vice president and general manager of sports and entertainment as it seeks to expand its footprint outside of airports.

Fans are currently allowed to attend games at two-thirds of NBA arenas, with varying numbers depending on state restrictions. ESPN notes that two teams recently announced capacity increases to 3,000 fans or more.

The NBA is hoping the use of Clear’s biometric health status tool will enable arenas to operate at full capacity during the upcoming 2021-2022 season.

Fans can use selfie biometrics to confirm their identity in the app, before answering a health survey. Clear kiosks for thermal body temperature scans and QR code checks are also expected to be available in at least some NBA arenas.

The Orlando Magic began using Clear biometrics in December, and conversations about a league-wide partnership began in September.

“You can do this with hardware or without,” Clear CEO Caryn Seidman Becker told ESPN. “You can just be purely mobile to drive throughput. I look around the world and Australia is back. New Zealand, back. China, back. It just depends how it plays out, but obviously, the goal is 100 percent.”

Clear signed a league-wide deal with the National Hockey League for its two ‘bubble’ sites last year.

The NBA is also setting rules to allow non-distanced fan attendance for vaccinated individuals according to state and local guidelines, which would require digital or manual proof of vaccination, according to the report.

Clear also announced a $100 million funding round in February as it seeks to scale out its biometric access control services.

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