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New York Mets installs facial authentication Image: NFCW.com

The Major League Baseball (MLB) team New York Mets (US) has chosen Wicket, a computer vision AI company, as their Facial Authentication partner at their digs – Citi Field – to enhance the fan experience. The Mets and Wicket will focus on deploying a series of facial authentication applications at the ballpark, beginning with facial ticketing and facial access control for staff and vendors.

The ‘Financial Post’ stated that following a successful pilot deployment that ran during the second half of the 2021 season, the Mets will expand the number of facial ticketing lanes, enabling a quicker ingress process for fans coming to the ballpark. The Mets will also deploy Wicket’s facial authentication technology to bolster access control to sensitive areas such as the clubhouse and the front offices.

The New York Mets are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the American League’s New York Yankees.

The 41,922-capacity Citi Field is a baseball park located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York City (US). Completed in 2009, it is the home field of the New York Mets of the National League East division of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Wicket is a computer vision software company headquartered in Cambridge (US). Wicket has developed and deployed software products for some of the biggest sports and entertainment customers. With a portfolio of issued and pending patents, Wicket’s Access platform includes products for facial ticketing, facial access control, crowd monitoring, audience measurement, VIP management and security alerting for sports/entertainment, retail, real estate, and enterprises.

The ‘Financial Post’ further stated that known to fans as the Mets Entry Express program, facial ticketing at Citi Field is a 100 percent voluntary opt-in program for faster, touchless entry into the ballpark via dedicated lanes, with easy online enrolment available to anyone attending a Mets home game. The Mets Entry Express program (powered by Wicket) launched in August 2021 at Citi Field and allowed fans to enter the stadium quickly and conveniently without using a paper ticket or a phone. Beginning on Opening Day 2022, Mets Entry Express lanes will be available at all main Citi Field entry gates, as well as at entrances to premium seating club areas.

Said Mets Chief Technology Officer, Mark Brubaker, “Wicket is a primary example of the commitment from our owner Steve Cohen to significantly invest in the most cutting-edge and innovative technology that provides our fans an even better experience at Citi Field. We’re proud to partner with Wicket following a very rigorous pilot that showed them to be far ahead of the competition.”

Said Sanjay Manandhar, CEO of Wicket, “We are thrilled that the Mets chose Wicket as their facial authentication partner. Mets fans who opt into the program will realize the benefits of shorter lines, beginning with ticketing as they enter Citi Field. We are excited to have a forward-thinking partner such as the Mets, who are rethinking how technology can provide a better experience for fans visiting today’s ballparks.”
 

Data privacy

Wicket is committed to data privacy. All of Wicket’s products are 100 percent opt-in. Data is always encrypted, deidentified and data is never shared with a third party.

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