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MLB to introduce biometric ticketing, replacing tickets with fingerprints, facial recognition

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Select baseball stadiums across the country will implement biometric ticketing starting next season, allowing fans to enter the stadium using their fingerprints instead of a traditional ticket. (Getty Images)

Traditional tickets — even mobile tickets that have replaced printed versions — at stadiums across the country will soon become a thing of the past.

MLB and CLEAR have teamed up to implement biometric ticketing at select stadiums across the country that will allow fans to use their fingerprints — and eventually facial recognition — to enter the stadium on game day, eliminating the need for printed tickets at all. The program will begin at select ballparks later this season, with its full rollout launching next year at stadiums that already use CLEAR and Tickets.com.

All fans have to do is simply link their MLB.com accounts with their CLEAR accounts, and they’re good to go.

“Our collaboration with CLEAR is an important new technology initiative, delivering safe, simple and seamless experiences for fans,” Noah Garden, MLB’s executive vice president of business, told EnGadget in a statement. “Developing a partnership that will unify emerging identity technology and ticketing is reflective of our commitments to always improving ballpark accessibility and maintaining critical security standards.”

The program will eventually expand to concession sales, too, allowing fans to pay for food and drink, and even validate their age for alcohol sales using their fingerprints.

CLEAR, which launched in 2010, has traditionally been used in airports to allow passengers to skip identity checkpoints in security lines. According to Fox News, CLEAR has more than 2 million members in the United States. CLEAR is already implemented at 13 stadiums across the country, including Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, AT&T Park, Marlins Park and Nationals Park.

While this change will likely face some issues early on — just like mobile ticketing did at it’s initial rollout — it could really improve fan experience at games across the country. And if it works well, it won’t be long before other major professional sports leagues follow suit.

“When experiencing a game, the biggest friction point is getting into the stadium,” Lauren Stangel, head of sports and events for CLEAR, told Fox News. “We truly believe we have an opportunity to use our technology to drive a safer and better experience for fans.”

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