SBD/March 21, 2011/Media

MLS Earthquakes Roll Out App For Fans To Order Concessions

The MLS Earthquakes Saturday night were scheduled to debut a new "mobile phone app that delivers hot dogs, beer and souvenirs," according to Benny Evangelista of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Yorder co-Founder Kenji Kato believes that the app, which takes the company's name, "could revolutionize food concessions at sporting events and concerts." The free app, available for iPhone and Android phones, "lets fans call up the food and drink menu from the stadium's two concession stands." Once they make their selections, "payment is made through their PayPal account, with a $1 per-transaction convenience fee added to the total." The orders are "received by the concessions operator, Palo Alto food management firm Bon Appetit, which will send a worker to the fan's seat with the order in 15 to 20 minutes." Fans also can "order team merchandise through the app and, for the season opener," the Earthquakes were offering a 10% discount on orders placed through Yorder. Earthquakes President David Kaval said that the technology "is especially suited for soccer, which does not have any natural breaks during the game except for halftime." Evangelista noted Washington-based Yorder "started in early 2010 as iConcessionStand, ran a limited test in the club seats at Safeco Field" for the Mariners' final 12 home games, and ultimately changed its name in February. The app "recognizes its location, so it can be used at any participating stadium or arena, although Yorder still has to prove it can handle major venues that have tens of thousands more seats than the 10,000-seat Buck Shaw Stadium." So far, the "only team working with Yorder is the Quakes, part of that franchise's efforts to make antiquated Buck Shaw as pleasant as possible until it can build a new soccer stadium" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/19). ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote, "This will be a game-changer for a lot of fans" (ESPN.com, 3/19).

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