News and Society

Clear Expands Security Checkpoints in Soccer With LAFC, Earthquakes


Clear, the privatized gate security company that competes with TSA Pre✓, is expanding its footprint to two new Major League Soccer arenas with the Los Angeles Football Club and San Jose Earthquakes.

The LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium and the Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium bring Clear’s tally of professional sports facilities to 13 across MLB, MLS, and the NBA. Clear now provides security for three professional soccer clubs, since the Yankees are already a client and New York City FC plays at Yankee Stadium.

Clear’s platform leverages biometric technology to enable expedited entry through security at airports and stadiums. The platform requires a one-time sign-up and can be used for free at every sports stadium that employs Clear, though there is a monthly fee if users want to upgrade to also use Clear kiosks at airports.

“We’re thrilled to expand further into soccer, and work hand-in-hand with these two innovative professional sports teams to provide fans the most enjoyable, hassle-free game day experience possible,” said Lauren Stangel, Clear’s vice president of sports and entertainment, in a statement.

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The company says these new partnerships will also include plans to expand into a host of other biometric-based fan experiences, such as using contactless payments through the Clear platform to seamlessly buy concessions and merchandise.

The company has been working with lawmakers in Washington State to digitize IDs for potential contactless in-stadium alcohol orders, something it plans to mirror in other states where it does business.

“There’s a lot more to come,” said Stangel.

Other stadiums with Clear’s biometric technology include the Braves’ SunTrust Park, the Athletics’ Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Mariners’ Safeco Field, the Mets’ Citi Field, the Rockies’ Coors Field, the Marlins’ Marlins Park, the Giants’ AT&T Park, the Tigers’ Comerica Park, and the Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena.

SportTechie Takeaway

Biometrics (biological identifiers such as retina or fingerprint scans) are paving the way for a more seamless experience at sports stadiums. Through biometrics, companies such as Clear and IdentoGO by IDEMIA, the parent of TSA Pre✓, are expediting check-in at security gates and building an ecosystem that can enhance the fan experience. In return, teams are given access to coveted data about the people entering their facilities, which can help enhance their analytics to better target fans.

While Clear has a growing presence in soccer, basketball and baseball, IdentoGO has been focusing on the NFL, NBA, and NHL. The two companies’ strategies are starting to clash, however, as IdentoGO plans to expand into baseball and soccer through Fenway Sports Group. As the industry becomes more competitive, the two leading biometric ticketing companies may also be forced to compete in other areas, such as biometric services.



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