The quest for the ultimate high-tech stadium experience continues. A new partnership between the Philadelphia Phillies, Aramark and Major League Baseball Advanced Media now allows fans at Citizens Bank Park to order food from their iPhone or iPod Touch and have it delivered to their seats.
The short pilot program - right now slated to only run through the end of the regular season - will be integrated into the "At the Ballpark" section of MLB Advanced Media's all-inclusive iPhone application, At Bat. "At the Ballpark" currently offers a variety of interactive tools to allow fans to check in from the ballgame and integrate their experience with technology. This latest innovation carries that a step further, with food-ordering technology never previously employed at a Major League venue. "It's convenient, it's cool and it's quick," Mike Harris, Phillies director of marketing and special projects, told MLB.com. "Our fans are going to have the opportunity to have more at their seats. ... They are primarily specialty items that are not available in all areas."
Here's how the app works: First, it verifies that a fan is in the stadium and then allows that fan to choose from a number of preselected meals. Purchases are made with a credit card, seat information is confirmed and the food is then delivered - typically within 30 minutes. In limited tests, Harris said, the actual delivery time has been closer to half that. Eventually, depending on the food-ordering app's success, all of the ballpark's vendors could get involved, he added.
"The Phillies are always very receptive to new technologies," said Adam Ritter, vice president of wireless at MLBAM, adding that he hopes the technology will be ready and waiting for any Major League team next season.
Several years ago, the Phillies introduced the Power Ticket, which includes a dollar amount credited to the printed ticket's bar code that allows fan to purchase food and novelties at any of Citizen Bank Park's 200 points of sale.