(from Sports Business Journal, October 21, 2013) At Arrowhead Stadium some fans now have the ability to pay for their beers without leaving their seats. During the 2013 season the Chiefs are testing multiple strategies to develop mobile concessions technology. According to Kansas City Chiefs’ Vice-President of Stadium Operations, David Young, Arrowhead Stadium is looking to add additional mobile conveniences at the club level in order to “drive incremental revenue and collect more data from their season-ticket holders.”
The Chiefs teamed up with Levy Restaurants, their premium food provider, and Bypass, a technology firm, to complete the mobile transition. Fans will now see beer vendors, as they travel through 10,200 club seats, carrying a Samsung Galaxy S2 handheld. Whether beer, peanuts, or bottled water is sold, Bypass developed a program to take credit cards as a form of payment. Also, in Section 213 at the Foolish Club, servers are using Bypass-customized Samsung tablets to process orders. Through the customer’s payment, servers can streamline purchases without making several trips to the bar. Finally, Arrowhead stadium is seeking to launch Chiefs Mobile which will allow 500 fans from section 212 to 216 to order food and drinks. In addition to concessions Chiefs Mobile is offering live camera feeds through Smartphones and tablets to view different angles of the game.
The Hunt family, owner of the Chiefs, wants to expand new technology at Arrowhead in order to foster a better fan experience. Through upgraded wireless infrastructures constructed by Bypass, Wi-Fi systems can now reach over 600 access points throughout the stadium. Bypass President, Brandon Lloyd, stated, “Over the past three years, as mobile devices have become more sophisticated, they are serving as mobile payment systems as a flexible option to traditional point-of-sale vendors.” Lloyd believes the POS system is no longer a hardware investment but a method that evolves with the venue. From concessions to loyalty, loaded tickets, and data mining, technology is always being tested at Arrowhead Stadium.