Mercedes-Benz Stadium to start testing facial recognition ticketing system to get into games

ATLANTA — Starting Saturday, new technology will get fans through the lines at Mercedes-Benz Stadium much faster.

The stadium is testing a new facial recognition ticket system and you have to be a season-ticket holder to use it.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston got a peak at how it works. The first thing you have to do is take a selfie and send your ticket information. Then when you show up to the game, a computer will recognize your face and guest services will show you to your seat.

“In this case, we’re trying to eliminate you having to pull out your tickets, pull out your phone, pull out a driver’s license. We want to eliminate that,” said Karl Pierburg, chief technology officer for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United’s parent company, AMB Sports and Entertainment.

He said they are testing to see if facial recognition would be a good way to get into the game.

“On match day, they’re going to a specific entrance that we designated. As they approach, our guest services will automatically see their name, what seats they have and greet them,” Pierburg said.

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Facial recognition is something you might see at Atlanta’s airport and other places large crowds gather.

Pierburg said the Atlanta United pilot program is only for season ticket holders who opt in to the pilot program.

“The only time someone’s face is going to be scanned on event day is if they’re walking up to a very specific, cornered off area,” Pierburg said.

He told Huddleston that if their five-game test goes well, they will continue to test throughout the soccer season and into football.

If this goes well, maybe even more facial recognition testing will be done.

“You could see this eventually at a POS, ordering food, at a drink lane getting a drink or getting into a specific area of the stadium,” Pierburg said.

Pierburg said they want to eliminate any waiting inside the stadium. But they also want fans to know that it’s only a pilot and they are not using facial recognition throughout the stadium, it’s only for about 30 people who opted-in to the test program.

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