Two professional sports venues in which Delaware North Sportservice has business
operations have taken an innovative approach to providing fans with a convenient way
to order and pick up items.
Using a new system of self-serve lockers developed by Apex Supply Chain Technologies,
Sportservice has deployed the concept at the NFL’s Bank of America Stadium in
Charlotte for retail merchandise and at MLB’s Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati
for food and beverage items. In both instances, the technology is the first of its kind for
the respective pro leagues.
At Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, 23 team-branded lockers
were recently installed next to the team’s retail store outside of the stadium, along with
an additional 11 lockers inside the building, to provide an easy way for fans to seamlessly
retrieve purchases without the hassle of lines.
Fans ordering merchandise through the Panthers’ website are given locker pickup as
an option on game day or non-game day. For those choosing the option, Sportservice
delivers the order to a locker using a bar code, which the retail staff scans, sending a
message to the Apex system. The system automatically opens the next available locker.
After the merchandise is deposited in the locker, the Apex system sends an email to
the customer with pickup instructions and a unique QR code plus a six-digit code.
The customer can either scan the QR code or enter the code on the locker’s keypad.
Sportservice installed the lockers in late July and more than 120 orders were picked up
through the system in the first month of operation, said Steve Roznowski, e-commerce
manager, in an interview with SportsBusiness Journal. Many orders have been picked
up after the team store closes at 4 p.m., he said. There is no additional charge to use the
At Great American Ball Park, Sportservice is previewing the concept for fans, with a
full launch of the system set for the 2018 season. The preview includes two Ballpark
Express pick-up stations on the third base Terrace Level concourse of the ballpark.
Using the free Ballpark App, fans can place their Ballpark Express order and are notified
by the app when the order is ready. A barcode is sent to their phone that will access
the door to the secure compartment containing the freshly-made order. Concession employees
fill the orders using special packaging designed by Delaware North to separate
and insulate hot and cold items.
“We are continuously working to improve the fan experience,” said Carlos Bernal,
president of Delaware North Sportservice. “The Cincinnati Reds are forward-thinking
partners who encourage innovative thinking and work with us to bring the newest
technology to their fans.”