TIAA bank field scores with on-site lockers for personal belongings

 

Stadium bag policies continue to be a growing priority at sports stadiums and arenas all around the United States with regard to personal bag size and the particular items that are permitted into facilities during scheduled events. Initially implemented for the 2013 professional football season, the National Football League (NFL) launched a new bag policy intending to provide a safer environment for the public and to expedite fan entry.


Since then, the initial policy has evolved and now limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums. For example, non-transparent bags are permitted but must not exceed 4.5” by 6.5” (about the size of an average hand). Clear, see-through bags must not exceed 12” by 12” by 6.”  While this may seem strict, security specialists are united in ensuring the safety of the public with policies that have now been adopted by all NFL stadiums, as well as other venues and arenas across the country.

 

Challenge on the Field


If not adhering to the NFL’s bag policy, an entire day-out experience can potentially be ruined for fans; thus, individuals and sometimes entire families are restricted from entering the stadium.  When this happens, perhaps, the only available options are:1. bring the restricted item(s) back to the car, sometimes a great distance away from the stadium; 2. discard the item(s), which is usually not logical; or 3. be lucky enough to be at a stadium that provides off-site options for restricted items. However, in the past, these options have come with long lines and/or high storage fees during both pre- and post-game times, adding to an already long day.
 


In 2013, when the first policy was enforced, TIAA Bank Field, home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, set up an area to replicate a coat check, which included rolling racks. Game day attendees would have a place to bring their restricted items – briefcases, purses, etc. – and, in turn, would receive a numbered ticket to retrieve their item at the conclusion of the game. This was beneficial to attendees using the service; however, ticketing many items per game was a labor-intensive process for the stadium. “This old school approach wasn’t working for us. What we really needed was something automated, self-sufficient and easily implemented,” said Ryan Prep, Director of Facility Operations, Jacksonville Jaguars. 

 

 

"What we really needed was something automated, self-sufficient and easily implemented"

 



The Perfect Solution


What started as an empty shipping container with lockers, evolved into a solution that would solve Prep’s needs for a secure way to store attendees’ belongings. “We created the LOKnCHARGE lockers after noticing the frustration from individuals who attend events and have no place to put their items,” said Benoit Briere, CEO of LOKnCHARGE, a Montreal-based secure mobile locker solution. “There was a need for security and convenience, so I was on the hunt for a secure, yet simple solution to ensure each locker can be locked by the individual using it,” continue Briere. 

After researching solutions, Briere found Codelocks, an access control company that specializes in standalone keyless door locks and access products. These two companies teamed up to develop a secure, on-site alternative for attendees of not only sporting events, but music concerts and street festivals to enjoy their event unencumbered without having to experience the negative outcome of being turned away because of carrying restricted items.

 

 

In regard to the LOKnCHARGE units, it was determined – based on future needs of the end-user – to place the KL1060 – Codelocks’ KL line of products stands for KitLock, ideal for cabinets and lockers – on all LOKnCHARGE lockers. The KL1060 is a smart way to generate time-sensitive codes for a wide range of lockers. 

Codelocks worked with LOKnCHARGE to develop an online portal where anyone can book and pay for a locker in advance. Through Codelocks’ NetCode, a six-digit code can be obtained by a future user with a specific start date, time and duration, resulting in an easy and self-sufficient solution. Once the duration expires, the codes no longer work, creating a more convenient way to grant access. These generated codes can be sent by email or standard text messages. In addition, a Wi-Fi connection is not required to operate these locks.

“By adding the KL1060 to our LOKnCHARGE units, and the partnership with Codelocks, it has helped avoid the risk of loss or theft of important personal items, while providing convenient online booking for our customers,” said Benoit. “The LOKnCHARGE solution was presented to Ryan to solve their storage needs.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars currently deploy two LNC-550 units, – aptly called offense and defense – totaling 1,100 lockers which are used on game days as well as all major events at TIAA Bank Field. “After learning about this solution, we invited Briere and the Codelocks team to Jacksonville to discuss implementation and training,” said Prep. 

 

 

"The collaboration between Codelocks and us resulted in a solution that can be used for a variety of events, including our highly attended NFL football games"

 


Game Time 


Before the season started, Briere and Codelocks representatives traveled to Jacksonville to train the Jaguars guest services team on how to operate the lockers. They were also on-hand during the first three home games to ensure a seamless transition. 

Attendees who needed to secure their restricted belongings would simply arrive at the container, access the website (www.jaxlockers.com) through a mobile phone and rent their locker in less than two minutes. For those who didn’t have access to a mobile phone or simply rather not use their phone, iPads were available through the stadium support staff for easy access and purchasing. Once that was completed, a six-digit code was sent via text message and email to the user and they would instantly have access to a specific locker. “We went from an extensive check-in process with long lines and using 12 or more employees working long hours, to only needing five or six employees to complete the process,” said Prep.

 

 

However, one key issue to be resolved was the randomization of what lockers were being administered at a given time. “All of a sudden locker 39 and 41 would be assigned simultaneously, which resulted in congestion and lines,” said Prep. With this feedback, Codelocks worked with the backend of the website and rewrote the code in order to ensure the randomization of locker assignments that the Jacksonville Jaguars guest services team needed. This allowed for free-flowing space for users to easily put their often-bulky items into the lockers.

 

The Final Score


Once the initial growing pains were rectified, the entire process became streamlined. LOKnCHARGE was used during 12 stadium events throughout the season, with seven regular season home games, plus two preseason games.

“I’m thrilled the LOKnCHARGE solution was able to be successful for the Jacksonville Jaguars 2019-2020 season,” said Briere. “The collaboration between Codelocks and us resulted in a solution that can be used for a variety of events, including our highly attended NFL football games.

“We look forward to working with Codelocks and LOKnCHARGE in the future. It ended up being a great partnership and they took care of all of our needs, questions and feedback to develop a solution that worked for us and, most importantly, our fans,” said Prep.
 

 

02, Jun 2020