AHL San Diego Gulls to launch facial ticketing and concession payments

AHL’s San Diego Gulls to launch facial ticketing and concession payments


Andre Cohen

The San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League will launch facial recognition ticket admission and concession payment for tonight’s game against the Abbotsford Canucks at Pechanga Arena in San Diego. The rollout is the first of its kind through a partnership between facial verification company PopID and ASM Global, which operates more than 300 sports and entertainment venues.

Fans can sign up for optional facial recognition services at Pechanga Arena by uploading a selfie and payment method to PopID. PopID’s software will integrate with point-of-sale devices at ticketing gates and arena concession stands, allowing ticketed fans to enter the arena and pay for food and beverages by simply standing in front of the facial verification kiosks.

“The deployment of this technology in our theaters represents the start of a revolutionary change in the entertainment world,” ASM Global CEO and President Ron Bension said in a statement. “The PopID platform will allow us to eliminate the reliance on cards and phones at our events and ensure that every interaction with guests is secure, fast and seamless.”

PopID announced its multi-year partnership with ASM Global in March. Other sites operated by ASM Global that are planning to launch facial verification include the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, and the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, as well as the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. ASM Global is a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which operates major sports venues such as Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and Target Center in Minneapolis.

Pechanga Arena, originally known as San Diego Sports Arena, is the latest in a growing list of sports venues to adapt facial recognition to serve fans. The New York Mets are offering facial entry at Citi Field as part of the club’s deal with Wicket, a first for an MLB team. Mets vice president of technology solutions Oscar Fernandez told SportTechie the team has a “long-term roadmap” for rolling out facial payments in the concession stands. LaLiga club Osasuna also recently partnered with dasGate to become the first Spanish football club to offer face ticketing earlier this month.