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Tennessee Titans transform fan experience with opt-in facial authentication ticketing

The NFL's Tennessee Titans have a fan-first philosophy dedicated to delivering the best possible experience at their Nashville home, Nissan Stadium.

Adam Nuse, Chief Revenue Officer for the Tennessee Titans, is committed to this vision. "We are constantly worried about every aspect of the fan experience and trying to make sure that it's the best experience they can have," Nuse said. "I go to sleep and wake up thinking about it, from concessions to getting into the stadium, operations or buying tickets."

Faced with an aging stadium with outdated technology, however, the reality of the fan experience did not live up to the aspiration. Nuse said 3 years ago the Titans were one of the league's worst for fan ingress, causing a negative impact on game day. Since then, the Titans have made improvements to create a better ingress experience, such as implementing Express Entry.  A multi-billion dollar, state-of-the-art new stadium planned for 2027 would help resolve these entry problems, but the team's owners didn't want to wait. They wanted to act quickly to fix the problem and give their fans the experience they deserved.

Working with Verizon, the Titans identified a revolutionary technology solution that raises the bar and sets a new standard for ticketing innovation in the sports industry.

Congested entry frustrates fans

With more than 70,000 fans flooding Nissan Stadium on game day, bottlenecks at entry gates caused long wait times, large crowds and, ultimately, frustrated fans. The Titans needed to make an urgent change.

The Titans identified streamlining the ticketing entry process as an utmost priority—not only at the team's current stadium, but also for the future New Nissan Stadium, to avoid the same issues arising there. "We analyzed how we could get fans inside the stadium quickly and efficiently, and a lot of that starts and stops with ease of entry and speed of access," explained Sam Apple, Director of Stadium Experience for the Tennessee Titans. "We live in a fast-paced world where everyone's trying to do things without delay. At Nissan Stadium, our visitors want to get inside so they can see the players warming up on the field or get to their favorite concession stand," she added.

Expediting entry would require smoothing out the high-friction points with the implementation of state-of-the-art ticketing technology. Yet, with a diverse fan demographic, the solution had to be easy to use, easy to understand and, importantly, trustworthy. "Our fans are young and old. We have to make it really easy for all of them when they come in," explained Nuse.

For the Titans, embracing next-generation biometric solutions powered by Verizon's 5G Edge Accelerated Access, was the winning ticket.


Tennessee Titans stadium express entry, powered by Verizon

Adam Nuse, Chief Revenue Officer, Tennessee Titans

Beginning quotation mark  Fans come in with a smile on their face when they use Express Entry. They're just shocked at how quick and easy it is to get through."

Adam Nuse, Chief Revenue Officer, Tennessee Titans

Facial recognition is just the ticket for accelerated access

The Titans teamed up with Verizon and technology partner Wicket to resolve the issue of slow stadium ingress by rolling out revolutionary opt-in facial recognition ticketing.

Powered by Verizon's 5G Edge Accelerated Access, the stadium installed eight Express Entry gates. For fans who opt in—participation is entirely voluntary— facial recognition technology authenticates guests in near real time, reducing wait times. Now, a participating fan's face is their ticket for fast and contactless access into the stadium. "This technology makes it much faster. It's smooth and enables visitors and their guests to move into the stadium in a much cleaner way," said Apple.

The ticketing solution reduces typical hold-ups—no more fumbling for tickets or scanning QR codes. On game day, users who already submitted a selfie during opt-in simply enter the stadium via one of the dedicated Express Entry camera lanes. What's more, a single person can authenticate up to 12 guests, so a whole party can enter in one go. "A quick sign up on a phone allows one scan for all the tickets for the staff to visually verify, expediting crowd flow," enthused Apple.


Beginning quotation mark  With this state-of-the-art technology and our seamless communications, we're going to amplify the joy that the fans get to experience while they are watching the Tennessee Titans.”

— Leigh Ann Lanier, Market President at Verizon, Atlantic South

Express Entry also enhances security measures by combating fraudulent tickets, providing staff additional support. "Express Entry when combined with 5G creates a transformative, very secure experience," said Brian Gorney, Managing Director at Verizon Business Group, Sports and Entertainment.

Sam Apple, Director of Stadium Experience, Tennessee Titans

Beginning quotation mark  A quick sign up on a phone allows one scan for all the tickets for the staff to visually verify, expediting crowd flow."

Sam Apple, Director of Stadium Experience, Tennessee Titans

Titans go from worst to first

The investment is paying off. The Tennessee Titans now boast one of the most efficient and enjoyable stadium entry solutions in the league. The Titans report that wait times have lowered dramatically, giving fans more time inside to enjoy the venue. "We made some major investments to get people into the stadium quickly and easily, really trying to eliminate those lines. This year we are one of the top in the NFL, so investments coupled with a focus on the fan really shifted us from worst to first," Nuse said.

Apple highlighted the progress the Titans fans have experienced. "We do a lot of surveying of our guests on an event-by-event basis and there was a time when we were ranked pretty low on ingress into the stadium. This has expedited entry and we've had a ton of positive feedback from our guests. In its simplest terms, it's fast, it's easy to sign up for and it gets them in the building quicker, which raises our scores on those surveys," she said.

"What we hear most from staff and fans alike is the ease of the technology and how fast it is. On game day, it takes no time at all for your face to be scanned, your tickets to pull up and to walk through the building. That allows for more positive experiences for the fans and for the staff."

"Fans come in with a smile on their face when they use Express Entry," Nuse said. "They're just shocked at how quick and easy it is to get through."


Tennessee Titans football stadium

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Accelerating the fan experience of the future

Recognizing the exciting possibilities of Verizon's 5G and 5G Edge Accelerated Access, the Titans plan to deploy the scalable technology at their advanced New Nissan Stadium.

This high-speed, fully connected stadium will deliver a new era of fan experience: Immersive augmented reality, digital activations and cashierless concessions. "We're building a $2.1 billion stadium. We'd love a lineless experience and I think Verizon can help get us there," Nuse said. "I'm hopeful and optimistic that we can be the first."

"Our ability to co-create and innovate in the next few years at the New Nissan Stadium will explore what's possible going into the future, leveraging 5G and 5G Edge capabilities," Gorney said.

Committed to innovation, the Titans are reimagining the fan experience today and laying the groundwork for a future of unforgettable stadium experiences.

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