Biometric ticketing reaches NFL, deployed to new soccer stadium
The Columbus Crew of North America’s Major League Soccer has deployed a converged wired and wireless network from Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiary Aruba at their new home, Lower.com Field, to power automated stadium systems including opt-in face biometrics-based ticketing.
The network will also support Evolv Express security screening and pervasive WiFi.
“One of the first things that we really focused on is providing a great connectivity experience, not only in the seats, but everywhere in the stadium,” says Brandon Covert, vice president of Information Technology for Haslam Sports Group. “At the gates, when there are 12,000 people waiting to get in and they’re trying to pull up their tickets, or when walking through the concourses at halftime among 20,000 people, it is a very challenging environment for live venues. That is one of the major reasons we pushed really hard towards a very robust Aruba infrastructure.”
Fans using the biometric ticketing enrol their selfie biometrics from their ticket account, and then use a Wicket kiosk connected to the Aruba network to perform facial verification in a paperless, touchless process first deployed at Historic Crew Stadium, where the team played prior to 2021.
“The beauty with facial recognition is fans can redeem all of their tickets with one glance versus scanning each separate ticket, it creates a much smoother process,” adds Covert. “The fan just walks up and takes about a second to look at the Wicket kiosk and their admitted group can walk right through the gates. This technology has cut the time it takes to get into the stadium by more than 50 percent. When it comes to funnelling thousands of fans into the stadium at the same time, this adds up to significant time savings.”
Browns 3rd in AFC, first in face biometrics
Just up Interstate 71, the Cleveland Browns have launched an Express Access Line to provide faster entry to games with face biometrics, which a Wicket representative revealed to Biometric Update in an email also uses its technology.
Local outlet WKYC reports the Browns are the first National Football League team to adopt the biometric ticketing technology.
Fans enrolling for the service with selfie biometrics and a ticket scan can perform facial verification on iPads at FirstEnergy Stadium entrances, or chose to wait in the regular line for manual ticket checks.
Wicket also provides its technology to a Major League Baseball team.