Major League Baseball has introduced a pilot program that utilizes facial recognition technology for ticketless entry.
The program, Go-Ahead Entry, will first be tested at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.
“The Philadelphia Phillies are launching a Major League Baseball (MLB) pilot program that uses facial recognition technology to allow fans entrance into Citizens Bank Park without showing a ticket, according to KYW Newsradio,” WLTReport noted.
The Philadelphia Phillies rolled out a new facial-recognition pilot program last week at the park's first base gate that's intended to speed up wait times and get fans inside the stadium sooner. https://t.co/FiEOPenYh8
— Axios (@axios) August 30, 2023
WLTR reported last month:
“For fans who opt-in, their face is their ticket. Starting with Monday’s game against the Giants, the first base gate will have a special lane with a facial recognition scanner,” said KYW Newsradio’s Mike DeNardo.
“Ticketing fans who have uploaded a selfie in the MLB Ballpark app can walk in without having to show a ticket or a barcode.”
“Fans’ photos are linked with a numerical token connected to their account and then deleted,” DeNardo added.
“Major League Baseball is piloting the facial recognition system in Philadelphia with plans to expand it to other parks next season.”
“MLB encourages fans to keep their eyes on the ball with a fast, easy, hands-free way to enter the ballpark using the new MLB Go-Ahead Entry lanes at Citizens Bank Park. Fans 18+ simply register using the MLB Ballpark app, and all tickets tied to their account will be enrolled for Go-Ahead Entry,” the MLB wrote in a press release.
“MLB’s Go-Ahead Entry technology uses a camera that will recognize any opted-in fan as a registered member as they walk in – either alone or with their group – automatically scanning tickets once identified. No need to stop or even get a phone out. Fans can now enjoy the ultimate hands-free, free-flow experience entering the ballpark with their eyes up. Just skip the line and be ready to enjoy the game.”
The “Go-Ahead Entry” technology faced glitches when it debuted at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 22, picking up the faces of other fans who were waiting in line.
The mishap caused delays and forced attendants to create a buffer zone for the scanner, per Billy Penn.
Ticket holders who are 18+ can opt into the service. They must upload a selfie to the MLB Ballpark app that’s then assigned a numeral token before being deleted.
The faces of Phillies fans are scanned and then matched to the stored numerical token, allowing them to enter the ballpark.
If you’re part of a big group, only one person needs to register on the app, and their facial scan will allow everyone to get in.Advertisement
MLB and the Phillies worked for more than two years to develop the program, the Sports Business Journal reports.
It’s used in several stadiums across the country, including New York, Cleveland and San Diego, per Slate.