The Seattle Seahawks will become the first NFL team to allow customers to purchase concessions using only a fingerprint. The Seahawks, along with the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Sounders, will partner with CLEAR to allow fans to bypass concession lines.
In a press release, CLEAR and the three Seattle teams announced the partnership, stating that it will enable "frictionless entry and concession experiences available beginning at this week's first preseason game."
Seahawks and Sounders FC fans at CenturyLink Field and Mariners fans at Safeco Field can now purchase concessions with the tap of a finger using CLEAR, the first time in the United States that biometrics replace an ID for age validation and credit card for purchase in a single touch. Sounders FC is the 4th Major League Soccer team to add CLEAR for fans to speed through stadium security.
CLEAR's technology allows for biometric scanning and verification and has been mostly used in airports to this point, though it is already in use in some professional sports stadiums as well. Similar to how CLEAR's technology allows airline passengers to bypass security check-in lines, it will do the same for those customers at Seattle's sports stadiums.
Per the release: "With approval from the State of Washington to replace a traditional ID check with biometric powered age validation, CLEAR members at CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field can buy food and drinks, and simultaneously prove that they are of legal age for alcohol purchases -- all with just their fingerprints."
If the experiment goes well in Seattle, it is not at all difficult to imagine other NFL teams picking up on this very quickly. Concession sales are a big part of the NFL's business, and streamlining that process so that fans can purchase food and beverages quicker than is possible right now would go a long way toward allowing the teams to make even more money. The Seahawks are first in this space, but it seems like just a matter of time before this becomes fairly normal.