Creating Peace of Mind for NFL Tailgaters

Blog Post
John Baier
Vice President, Professional Sports




Publish date

Sep 8, 2022

The NFL season begins tonight with a much-anticipated matchup between the Bills and the Rams, followed on Sunday by a full slate of games. Over the next 72 hours, people all around the NFL will be finalizing months of preparation, double-checking equipment, and making last minute adjustments in the hopes of successful start to the season. Oh, and the players will also be getting ready to play.

The people I am referring to are every bit as important to the NFL as the players themselves … the tailgaters. Tailgating is an essential part of the NFL experience, consistently topping fan satisfaction surveys and creating an entire subculture of bbq rigs, secret recipes, and fan rituals. Just like players and coaches, devoted tailgaters spend hours preparing for gameday and know they have to deliver under pressure.

As central as tailgating is to NFL teams, it also creates a significant operational challenge for them. Simply put, tailgating is so fun and compelling that many fans don’t want to leave the parking lots until the very last minute. This, in turn, tends to create a crunch at the stadium gates, as thousands of fans try to clear entry screening before kickoff. Even if they make it in time – and many do not – this process is stressful and bursts the bubble of good feeling that tailgating created. Not an ideal way to welcome a fan to the game, to say the least.

While this experience will play out across the NFL this weekend, it won’t happen everywhere. That’s because an increasing number of NFL teams and stadiums are deploying Evolv Express, our next-gen entry screening platform. With Express, entry lines are all but eliminated – even when hordes of tailgaters seemingly arrive at the gates all at once minutes before kickoff. The lines melt away because Express offers throughput rates up to ten times faster than legacy systems, and because fans are not required to perform the time-consuming removal of personal items from their pockets and bags. Four of Evolv’s NFL clients – the Chargers, Falcons, Rams, and Titans – host their home openers this weekend, and the other four – the Browns, Eagles, Patriots, and Steelers – open at home next weekend.

These eight NFL teams have installed Evolv Express because they are committed to delivering the best possible experience for all their fans, even those who like to get to their seat just in the nick of time. And, just as importantly, because they are also committed to delivering the best possible fan safety and security. That’s really the trick Express pulls off: no lines and no reduction in security effectiveness. In fact, Express is the only next-gen screening platform available today with a Dept. of Homeland Security SAFETY Act designation for security effectiveness. At Evolv, we’re on a mission to transform security to enhance everyone’s life. We believe that everyone deserves the peace of mind of knowing they are in a weapons-free zone. And when we can do that in way that also means a dedicated tailgater can get to his or her seat just in time for kickoff, all the better!

Good luck to our NFL clients and all NFL teams this season.

Evolv Express systems are currently used by NFL, MLB and MLS franchises across the country, including by nine NFL teams. Heading to a game this season? We’d love to see how you experience Evolv. Tag @EvolvTechnology on Twitter.

John Baier
Vice President, Professional Sports