Major League Baseball franchise the New York Mets and food services provider Aramark have partnered with secure identity company Clear and AI-based self-checkout kiosk manufacturer Mashgin to transform the concessions experience at Citi Field.
Through the agreement, a pilot scheme will be launched whereby Mets fans can pick up snacks and beverages from the Walk Thru Bru express self-checkout kiosk at Citi Field before completing their purchase with a single touch.
The fully-automated experience will combine Mashgin’s AI-powered self-checkout kiosk and Clear’s biometric identity platform to create a “frictionless” fan experience.
Fans will be required to place their items on the Mashgin unit for scanning and place their fingers on the fingerprint reader. Clear will then charge the items selected to the credit card on file.
Clear will also be able to verify that the individual is of drinking age if they are trying to purchase alcohol. It is hoped the experience will provide venue and concession operators with a more reliable and secure way to carry out age verification, although an Aramark customer-service representative will continue to be stationed at the stand to assist guests and enforce service policies.
The Walk Thru Bru will be located behind Section 130 of Citi Field and will be available to all Clear members for the rest of the regular season. Fans who are not members will be able to enrol for free at the stadium.
Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark’s sports and entertainment division, said: “As an industry leader, we’re continually researching innovative ways to utilise digital technology to create a more streamlined, convenient and frictionless process that allows fans to purchase food faster and get back to their seats.
“The fully-automated self-checkout we’re testing with the Mets, Clear and Mashgin is just the latest example of us working to transform the in-venue dining experience and delivering solutions that meet the needs and preferences of our clients and guests.”
The Mets’ executive vice-president and chief revenue officer, Lou DePaoli, added: “Enhancing the game experience for our fans remains a priority, and this innovative solution will help further their experience while at Citi Field. We appreciate the innovation, flexibility, and partnership which will allow us to be the first ballpark utilising these digital technologies across the ticketing, security, and concession platforms for our fans.”
Earlier in the season, Clear and the Mets began piloting an all-in-one entry experience at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda gate that enables members to enter Citi Field using their face as a ticket.
Earlier this month, the Denver Broncos NFL American football team announced that its Empower Field at Mile High stadium had been fitted with Mashgin AI self-checkout scanners in a move designed to enhance its fan experience.