The NBA on Wednesday announced a partnership with biometric screening company Clear that could revolutionize the future of in-person sports and facilitate the reopening of arenas across the league.
The multiyear partnership allows all 30 NBA teams to use Clear’s “Health Pass” technology for COVID-19 screenings, creating an avenue for them to safely welcome fans back to arenas amid the coronavirus pandemic. A third of the league’s teams already have started using the technology — which relies on a free mobile app — according to a release announcing the agreement, spurring the return of employees and/or fans to their arenas.
Clear, perhaps best known for its security screening presence at airports worldwide, relies on health surveys and COVID-19 lab results and vaccination records to create a safer arena experience. The Health Pass app, according to the release, connects a user’s verified identity to multiple layers of COVID-19-related health information — like test results — to help reduce public health risk.
Before entering the arena, fans open the app, verify their identity and answer a health survey to gain entrance. And moving forward, as more and more people receive COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccination records can be linked to a person’s Health Pass account, ensuring another layer of safety.
This is Clear’s first leaguewide partnership with a professional sports league, but teams across all major sports leagues have used the technology to create safer work and fan environments during the pandemic.