Your finger is now your ticket at 11 MLB ballparks

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer
Mr. Met shows off Clear at Citi Field in Queens, New York. (via Clear)

By now, you’ve likely seen Clear fingerprint-identification kiosks at an airport as you waited in line. The company is in 28 U.S. airports, and lets you scan two fingers to skip the I.D. part of the line (not the security check), for a membership price of $15 per month.

But soon, more people may first associate Clear with sports.

The company this week is launching at three more Major League Baseball venues: Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles), Target Field (Minnesota Twins), and Globe Life Park (Texas Rangers). That brings its total to 11 ballparks, out of MLB’s 30 teams. With MLB ballpark attendance declining, the league hopes the convenience of skipping turnstile lines could be a genuine sweetener for fans.

Clear is also in two NBA arenas (Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks, and American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat), three MLS stadiums (Seattle Sounders, LAFC, and San Jose Quakes), and one NFL stadium, CenturyLink Field, where the Seattle Seahawks play. At sports arenas, unlike in airports, a Clear membership is free.

Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker frames the company’s aim simply: “We are the ATM of identity,” she has told Yahoo Finance. “We are your ticket.”

The company also partnered with Hertz last year to allow for car rental by face scan. That service is now at Hertz airport locations in Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte and Detroit.

Many Americans still feel hesitant to sign up for a system that scans their fingerprints or eyes, given security concerns. Seidman-Becker understands that. “We’re live in airports, we have 1,600 employees across the country taking people through biometrics and really bringing it to the mainstream,” she told Yahoo Finance in December. “We want to be known as the company of trust... and I think people have a right to be squeamish, and adoption—now we are at 3 million members, I’d like us to be at 10 million—has actually been slower than we’d like. But it’s happening.”

Clear first launched in 2003, then went out of business in 2009, and relaunched in 2010. It is owned by private company Alclear and has raised $35 million in venture funding from groups including T. Rowe Price. Delta in 2016 bought a 4% stake in the company for an undisclosed amount.

Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance and hosts the Sportsbook podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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