Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club Palmeiras has claimed a first with the successful full roll out of facial recognition technology to gain entry to its Allianz Parque stadium.
Palmeiras first announced it would introduce the technology back in January, in an effort to speed up access to its stadium and also combat ticket touting. The technology was used at all stadium gates for the first time during Wednesday’s 4-1 Série A win over Grêmio, with Palmeiras stating it is the first club in world football that has implemented a 100% facial biometric system for access to its stadium.
Wednesday’s game saw installation completed with the Gol Norte and Visitante stadium sectors being enabled. Only entry to corporate boxes and areas of the Allianz Parque loyalty programme are exempt from the scheme.
The Grêmio match drew a crowd of 37,532 to the 43,700-capacity Allianz Parque in São Paulo. Globo Esporte reported that access issues were only reported by 3% of match attendees, with Palmeiras claiming that in nine out of 10 of these cases this was due to a fan pre-registering with a different face or using their own face to attempt to gain access for their dependents.
Some fans reported queues at the entrances, with several ending up missing the opening minutes of the match. The club has put this down to the volume of people who tried to enter the stadium right before kick-off, rather than failures of the system itself.
Palmeiras president, Leila Pereira, said in a statement: “Fighting the criminal actions of money makers was a commitment I made and I am very proud to see that our commitment is paying off.
“With the installation of facial biometrics at Allianz Parque, we found an innovative solution to a serious problem, which affects all the big clubs in Brazil and also the entertainment industry. Our objective is, and will always be, to protect our greatest asset, which is the Palmeiras fan and, in particular, the Avanti member.”