- The New York Yankees partnered with delivery service Postmates to let baseball fans skip stadium concession lines by ordering food and drinks on a mobile app. Fans who open the Postmates app while at Yankees Stadium will see a selection of items they can order for pickup from designated locations, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- After paying for their order through the app, customers will receive a pickup time and text notification when their food is ready. The service, called Postmates Live, is currently available at designated pickup points in Sections 113 and 116 of the stadium, and will be expanded to more locations in the 2020 season.
- The Yankee Stadium service follows last month's rollout of Postmates Live at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Postmates, which announced the news on its blog, this year also partnered with live entertainment producer AEG to provide similar mobile ordering and pickup at music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach.
By partnering with Postmates, the New York Yankees could boost concession sales and improve customer service for fans. Long lines deter 42% of U.S. sports fans from buying food or beverage concessions at sporting events, according to a 2016 study by Oracle Hospitality and Turnkey Intelligence.
While game attendance can vary with a team's win-loss record, improved in-stadium services and a better overall experience may give fans another reason to visit ballparks. The Yankees are on track to see lower attendance this year, despite a No. 1 standing in the American League East and a playoff berth next month. Baseball is coping with longer-term attendance declines as growing entertainment options give consumers more choices for favorite pastimes.
Despite negative attendance trends, the introduction of Postmates Live to more stadiums could help to familiarize people to newer mobile ordering services. Postmates has snagged about 12% of the food delivery market, behind rivals DoorDash (28%), GrubHub (27%) and UberEats (25%), per Edison Trends data cited by eMarketer. By striking exclusive deals to provide service at sports stadiums and concert events, Postmates appears to be vying to expand its market share.
The Yankees and Dodgers are among the sports organizations that are integrating this type of mobile-based tech into the stadium experience to appeal to the many fans who bring their smartphones to games. The Los Angeles Football Club in July began letting iPhone users order food and drinks through Apple Business Chat, the tech giant's platform for business-to-consumer messaging. The Washington Nationals, Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia Phillies have similarly added mobile ordering to their stadium services, suggesting that Postmates' deal with the Yankees will resonate with sports fans.