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Wicket picked up for NFL-wide biometric scanning this year

Wicket picked up for NFL-wide biometric scanning this year

Satisfied with IAM systems after a six-team trial last season, the U.S. National Football League appears ready to go league-wide with biometric ID verification.

The pilot came at the end of 3.5 years of digital IAM testing by the NFL. No sports leagues like to lose money when people get unpaid-for stadium access, but NFL owners are particularly upset by it compared to others.

League owners are expected to set up a centralized facial recognition IAM service based on its Express Access authentication platform in the 2024 season. That would be for all 30 stadiums for the 32 teams, beginning in late summer.

Credentialing systems by computer-vision firm Wicket were part of the tests and are expected to be the core of post-pilot operations.

NFL executives have been talking about credentialing for several months. Every effort to create ID verification in stadiums has failed at the hands of counterfeiters or because the levels of passes were too numerous and complex for the environment.

According to trade journal Venues Now, gate keepers and security personnel have been told to physically feel an IAM device for genuineness.

Wicket facial authentication systems were in play during the Super Bowl this month. While no one is talking about how successful IAM operations were, the only incident being discussed is the man who got on the field during the game with a hashtag markered on his torso.

So, a qualified success for the company. In fact, Wicket has giddily adopted a marketing tone almost connoting membership in the league. It is closer than most companies in a sense, as Wicket’s ownership group includes part-owners of the Cleveland Browns.

The company claims fans accept facial recognition systems for access and proof of age.

Express Access scanned 98,000 tickets, according to the company, although 43 percent of season ticket holders enrolled in the face biometrics service.

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