PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For Phillies fans who opt into a new pilot program at Citizens Bank Park, 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. Ticketed fans who have uploaded a selfie in the Major League Baseball Ballpark app can walk in without having to show a ticket or a barcode.
“This enables an ‘eyes up’ experience,” said Karri Zaremba, MLB senior vice president for ballpark experience and ticketing. “They don't have to get out a phone or even stop. It's a free-flow, full walking speed experience.”
Zaremba says fans’ photos are linked with a numerical token connected to their account, and then deleted. "We don't store any images of fans on file. It's completely secure,” she explained.
However, it's not a security system. Security scanning is done simultaneously but separately, according to Zaremba. “This is simply improving an entry experience for fans who opt in and choose to enter in this fashion.”
Zaremba says families or groups can walk in together, as long as the person enrolled in the program has their tickets on the app.
MLB is piloting the facial recognition system, called “Go-Ahead Entry,” in Philadelphia, with plans to expand it to other cities next season.