The NBA expects all arenas to be at full capacity next season, thanks to increased COVID-19 testing and more vaccines being administered. Another key aspect toward that effort is the NBA’s new multiyear leaguewide partnership with Clear, a biometric screening company known for its expedited security process at hundreds of airports worldwide. ESPN reports: The partnership makes Clear’s COVID-19 health screening technology available to all 30 teams in their NBA arenas, and it’s expected to help facilitate more fans returning to games, though it’s up to each team how to use the technology. Conversations for a leaguewide partnership began in early September. This is Clear’s first leaguewide partnership with a professional sports league, but the company has been working with teams in MLS, MLB, NHL and the NFL. Clear first rolled out this program in a leaguewide format with the NHL’s bubble season across two cities in Canada last year.
As it pertains to attendance, fans can download the Clear app and upload an identifying document along with a selfie. To link their COVID-19 test results, fans log into their testing account through the app, and results will be linked to their health pass. Before entering the venue, fans can open the app, verify their identity with another selfie and then answer health survey questions. (There are also expected to be an unspecified number of Clear kiosks where fans receive a temperature check and scan their QR code.) Fans are issued a red or green notification depending on their COVID-related health information. A Clear spokesperson noted that the arenas only receive information about whether a fan has passed the requirements for access and not any private health information from the individual. They said that the Clear program is scalable, and could facilitate thousands of fans entering arenas.