MLB Teams Using Biometric Data to Enhance Fan Experience


The Atlanta Braves, Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners are the latest MLB teams to implement CLEAR’s “smart access pass”, a free membership service that offers fans expedited entry into the stadium (note: there is a $179 fee for their airport service). CLEAR technology uses biometric data (finger print, iris image etc.) to confirm an individual’s identity, speeding up the security process; with members funneled to express entrance lines. While currently known as a gate security company, CLEAR is pursuing a future where their platform uses a single biometric ID to power the entire in-stadium experience; from ticketing to alcohol and concession sales.

Howie Long-Short: CLEAR, said to be “building a connected world that’s smarter and more secure” through its biometric identity platform, services nearly 2 million members across 34 sports stadiums and airports nationwide. The company is certified as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism technology by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A privately held subsidiary of Alclear (acquired in ‘10 for $5.9 million), CLEAR has raised $35 million since October 2015. There are two ways to play the privately held company, with both T. Rowe Price (TROW, led 2 rounds) and Delta Air Lines (DAL, led the 3rd round) having invested. TROW was the sole investor in the company’s most recent round ($15 million, closed in April 2017).

Fan Marino: 9 of the 30 MLB ballparks now offer CLEAR’s service. Yankee Stadium and Coors Field were first to implement the technology back in 2015. Marlins Park, Citi Field, AT&T Park and Comerica Park also offer CLEAR fast-entry lanes. American Airlines Arena in Miami is the 1st NBA building to provide the service. It’s should be noted that competitor TSA Pre✓(from IdentoGO By Idema, a subsidiary of the private equity firm Advent International), services Jets fans at Metlife Stadium and 49ers fans attending games at Levi’s Stadium.

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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