Tonight when the Detroit Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals, the ballpark will be introducing a quicker way to enter in Gate A at Comerica Park: fingerprint biometrics. The New York based company, CLEAR, is offering this free service to Tigers fans. To enroll, fans will need to give CLEAR personnel their passports or driver’s licenses and fingerprints, which will be scanned into the company’s database. While the fingerprint system gives them access to shorter lines, fans still have to go through security and show their tickets.
So what is the upside of this fan experience? In a written statement Mike Healy, vice president of ballpark operations said, “As we continue to identify opportunities to enhance the game day experience, CLEAR provides us with an enhancement whereas patrons can enter Comerica Park in a quicker and convenient manner, without compromising their safety and security.”
Ed O’Brien who is the head of sports business development at CLEAR commented, “The way we view our long-term sports fan experience is, you’d never have to carry a wallet again.” The system is currently being used at 8 stadiums and 24 airports. CLEAR envisions a world in which people use their fingertips and eyes to buy concessions, enter offices and perhaps even start their cars.
Information and innovative technology being used in the sports world has arrived and it’s here to stay, i.e. virtual reality. What gives me pause is that using this fingerprint system, you still have to go through security and show your ticket. Will this really help with the shortening of lines? I wonder how many Tigers fans have signed up for this service and if they will actually see a benefit from using it. Only time will tell.