Portland Trailblazers Blaze Trail with Sports Tech

April 7, 2016

6:58 pm

As some of the most lucrative businesses in the country, professional sports teams are frequently on the cutting edge of technology. Some teams have made more of an impact than others. And while I refuse to peddle the same word play that got you to click on this title in the first place, the Portland Trailblazers do seem to be at the front of the pack when it comes to sports tech.

There are more than enough viable reasons for this to be the case. First off, their owner, Paul Allen, is a cofounder of Microsoft. Secondly, their team is based in the heart of the northwest, a hub for new ideas and creative thinking. And lastly, they just clinched a playoff spot for the third year in a row. For a team that doesn’t always perform well, cashing in on high attendance numbers is enough of a reason on its own.

So what kind of sports tech changes can you expect to find at the Moda Center during the 2016 NBA Playoffs? Let’s check it out!

Fast Season Tickets

The Portland Trailblazers actually made history this year by offering season ticket renewal through their mobile app. This made them the first franchise in sports history to take on the technological burden. Coordination with TicketMaster was seamless and 5 percent of all season ticket holders that renewed did so through the use of the app. The success of this program was mostly attributed to the increased use of technology in every day life.

Vincent Ircandia, senior vice president of business operations, noted that if the Blazers tried something similar even three years ago, “We would have gotten incredible pushback.”

Easy Parking

If you have ever been to an NFL game, an MLS match or your niece’s dance recital, you know that parking is a nightmare no matter where you are. But thanks to Portland-based startup Citifyd, fans can book parking spots before they even leave for the game. What?! For those of you that have never been stuck in 3 hours of parking lot gridlock, this tech breakthrough is amazing enough to abandon any previous sports allegiances and move to Portland before the end of the weekCitifyd_screens_blazers_1

An Interactive Stadium

The hustle and bustle of a professional sport team’s stadium can be a little overwhelming at times. But with help from Beaverton-based startup Digimarc, the Moda Center experience will be more personalized and manageable than ever. You’ll find scannable bar codes throughout the building on everything from posters to programs. You can even use the “FanScan” technology to find out which songs are playing over the loud speakers during games.

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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