BRONX, NY — Since 2015, the Yankees have been offering fans an expedited process to enter Yankee Stadium. Someday fans will use their fingerprints or their face to enter the stadium instead of a paper ticket with a barcode.
CLEAR is a New York-based company that offers dedicated lanes to bypass airport security check points using biometrics to verify identities with fingerprint scans. For now, there is no particular reason a baseball fan needs to have their identity checked before entering a ballpark so why bother checking fans at a Yankee game?
For that matter, why should a ticket holder bother and why is CLEAR partnering with sports teams?
For the company it is about offering fans a way to bypass long lines at the gate in exchange for getting as many people into their system as possible then selling some of them an upgrade to their paid travel service and, eventually, biometric ticketing services.
For the fans it is about taking 10 minutes at the stadium to fill out a form, provide a approved government-issued photo ID and scanning your fingerprints.
If you rarely go to a game it may not seem worthwhile but if you go to multiple games in a season enrolling in CLEAR is a no-brainer.
Sports Memberships are free (paid memberships work at airports). You can bring one guest of 18 years and older and as many guests as you want under 18. Kids are free and do not need to enroll (minors are not allowed to enroll).
Fans can begin the enrollment online (https://www.clearme.com/sports/yankees) but it serves little purpose as the enrollment process must be completed at the stadium. There are CLEAR enrollment booths outside the stadium near Gate 6 and Gate 4. Enrollment opens 2 hours before the game.
Valid, unexpired, not amended, photo ID: US Driver’s License, Military ID, US Passport, US Passport Card, US-Issued Permanent Resident Card, State-Issued ID Card.
The CLEAR lanes to enter the stadium are at Gate 6, Gate 2 and the Suites entrance. The lanes open 1.5 hours before the game.
The dirty little secret of CLEAR is that they are not fastidious about scanning fans. CLEAR staff stand near a scanning machine which does not always work; other CLEAR staff carry tablets with the scanning software. If the software is running slow or does not pull up your photo the CLEAR staff waves people through. If there was security benefit to the system, they would check everyone going through the line but by allowing a CLEAR member to bring an adult guest and an unlimited number of minors there are many people passing through the CLEAR line without an identification check. Once you pass the CLEAR check point you still have to go through the Yankee security including a magnetometer or “wanding” by Yankee security staff.
So, CLEAR at Yankee stadium is a marketing gimmick not a true security measure.
But for Yankee fans it is a great gimmick that gives them a shortcut into the stadium.
CLEAR has now expanded through partnerships with Major League Baseball franchises and Major League Soccer franchises. In addition to the Yankees, CLEAR has partnered with six MLB teams: the Mets, Marlins, Mariners, Tigers, Athletics, and Giants. MLS partners are New York City FC, Los Angeles FC and the San Jose Quakes.
The paid CLEAR travel service offers security line bypass at JFK, LaGuardia, White Plains, Reagan National, Washington Dulles, BWI, Atlanta Hartsfield, Detroit, Orlando, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Love Field, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston Hobby, George Bush Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, LAX, San Jose, SFO and Seattle.