Fans attending games at the Great American Ball Park later this season will have a new option for acquiring their game day fare; pulling it out of a locker.
Professional sports teams have been faced with the challenge of how to shorten lines for concessions since the dawn of in-venue concessions during sporting events. Using new technology, the Cincinnati Reds may have developed self-serve food lockers to assist in that endeavor.
Starting in early July, fans at the Great American Ball Park will be able to order and pay for concession items using MLB’s At the Ballpark app for mobile devices. The food will be prepared and then placed inside self-serve lockers, which will alert the customer that their food is ready. Consumers can then open the lockers to retrieve the food using a QR code that scanners embedded in the lockers will recognize.
The Reds plan on using two separate locker caches, according to Mark J. Burns of SportTechie. The lockers boast the ability to house four beers, two bags of popcorn and two hot dogs at capacity.
While the Reds plan on setting the lockers at an ambient temperature, the lockers have the capability to either chill items or keep items warm.
Not only should this technology cut down on wait times in lines for concessions, but it also has the potential to increase concessions sales. One of the top reasons fans give for not buying more concessions during sporting events is wait times. Shortening that could increase the likelihood of consumers purchasing more items.
If the technology, the first of its kind to be used in a sports-dedicated venue in the United States, produces the desired results, expect the Reds to make it a permanent fixture in the Great American Ball Park. From there it could spread to not only all 30 MLB parks, but venues in other leagues as well.
Standing in line for your hot dog for three innings could soon be a thing of the past.