App helping Pacers fans avoid long lines for food, bathrooms

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Pacers Sports and Entertainment found a way to make sure fans spend more time watching the game and not waiting in lines for food or the bathroom at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. All you need is a smart phone.

It’s through technology called Wait Time. It was recently installed on the Indiana Pacers app, helping fans keep tabs on which lines are the shortest.

Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part. Just ask Haley Schafer who has been standing patiently in line with her family, counting down the minutes before she can see her Pacers.

“It takes forever and you’re so excited to go in there and watch them,” she complained.

And even when your ticket’s scanned there are more lines for food, drinks, sometimes even to relieve yourself.

“It’s really an issue at any popular event,” said Ed Frederici, Chief Technology Officer for Pacers Sports and Entertainment.

Frederici said they learned about Wait Time at a conference, then watched it in action at The Palace in Detroit where the Pistons play.

Wait Time shows users which vendors and bathrooms have the shortest lines. It all starts with cameras on the concourse.

“That camera watches the flow of traffic and it uses actually artificial intelligence or a learning algorithm to see what you’re doing, are you in line, are you just passing through going somewhere else, are in line and leaving line,” said Frederici.

The info is fed back to almost 50 monitors on the concourse and the app with green meaning go, yellow meaning lines are getting longer, and red meaning the longest lines.

“If you know how to use a stop light and scroll through an app, you know how to use Wait Time,” said Frederici.

Heather Schafer went to Wednesday’s game with her children. She said trying to find a short line is always a hassle. She download the app after we told her about it.

“It’d be a lot faster, lot easier to get places, faster to get back to what we’re doing, cut bathroom breaks in half,” she said.

Frederici said as the season goes on the app will evolve to include to incorporate menus, the ability to search for different food types, and more.