T-Mobile Arena using customer data to shorten wait times

The world knows when Earl Loewen visits T-Mobile Arena.

Loewen was there Monday to see heavy metal band Metallica and posted several photos from the arena on Facebook and Twitter.

The photos Loewen knowingly posted — but the arena gathered information on him as well.

Loewen purchased the $1,000 VIP tickets online — and in doing so, gave his Las Vegas address. His information, as well as that of other purchasers, helped the arena decide how many employees it needed to handle car traffic from local concertgoers.

Like other sports and entertainment venues, T-Mobile has embraced technology to inform decisions to improve visitors’ experience.

Raul Gutierrez, T-Mobile Arena executive director of arena operations, said the arena uses visitor data to forecast staffing needs and shorten the amount of time it takes for attendees to get from their cars to the arena.

Faster arrival, more purchases

Sports and entertainment venues used to learn about their visitors from trade publications and surveying visitors directly. Now, arenas can learn where visitors are from and what interests them from their online activity.

“We no longer need to wait to survey visitors,” said Gutierrez, 48. “Using any advantage to make guest service better is paramount.”

Crowds at T-Mobile Arena are 70 percent tourists for most events, based on the ZIP codes of purchases. For other events, like Golden Knights games, the mix is 80 percent local — adding that many more cars to parking and traffic around the arena.

With that information, and visitor data collected from the parking garages as well as a full-time traffic director, the arena has reduced the average time it takes to clear vehicle traffic from the parking garages at Aria, New York-New York, Park MGM and Excalibur after an event from 43 minutes to about 30, Gutierrez said.

MGM Resorts is a part owner in T-Mobile Arena and owns those four casinos.

The faster T-Mobile gets visitors into the arena, the more time they have to buy merchandise and concessions. And the happier visitors are about their experience, the more likely they are to make purchases.

Once visitors are in the arena, T-Mobile officials say they hope they use an on-site internet connection to share photos and videos online — just as Loewen did — for free positive buzz.

Engaged visitors spend more and want to come back, Gutierrez said.

Thierry Chau, who works with large public venues for Sunnyvale, California- based Ruckus Networks, said the prevalence of cellphones has made internet infrastructure part of the design phase before many venues are even built.

“It’s not just ‘I’m there,’” Chau said, “It’s, ‘I’m there and you’re not. And here’s the picture.’”

Gone in five seconds

When T-Mobile Arena opened in April 2016, company statements lauded 550 networking hardware devices to connect visitors to the internet. The arena finished adding an additional 200 devices in March to improve connectivity.

Visitors who use the internet connection at T-Mobile must agree to allow data collection, according to the connection’s terms of use. The terms say uses for that data include reporting illegal activity and stopping someone from using too much bandwidth.

Gutierrez said the arena doesn’t collect data through the on-site internet connection for decision-making. Most of that comes from ticketing information.

Without robust internet infrastructure, venues miss out on data collection and the opportunity to send visitors more specific marketing messages about future events or deals from sponsors, Chau said. They also miss out on the free marketing from visitors posting photos and videos online.

Ruckus and a few of its partner companies have bid for the wireless internet infrastructure at the upcoming Raiders stadium, he said.

The on-site connectivity is even more important with live events’ large secondary market for event tickets. People sitting in the seats may not be the initial ticket purchasers, but an on-site internet connection means the venue can still collect some data on the actual attendees, Chau said.

Chau’s company works with venues to make sure the sign-in screen to use the venue internet doesn’t ask for too much information for access. Longer than five seconds to sign in, and the visitor gives up, costing the venue that data.

With sports betting on the horizon, and the possibility of outfitting players with sensors for more data collection, robust in-venue internet will become more and more essential to venue operations in general, he said.

The new normal

Loewen isn’t sure what kind of data T-Mobile has been collecting about him. But he said the idea makes him uncomfortable.

Still, Loewen chooses to purchase tickets online and use the on-site internet connection.

George Baker, founder and CEO of parking management system platform ParkHub, said visitors do not see the data collection as an intrusion when it isn’t aggressive and when they are rewarded for participating through things like coupons, vouchers and other offers.

“It’s embraced because the guest receives benefits,” he said.

ParkHub, based in Dallas, has several installations in the Las Vegas area and has provided services to T-Mobile Arena.

Alexis Hancock, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said data collection breeds privacy concerns.

She encourages venue operators to collect as little data as they need, to store that data safely and not sell it without telling visitors, she said.

She also cautions users that if a network connection requires someone to make a profile, don’t log in with a third-party platform like Facebook or Google. That risks sharing more data than necessary, Hancock said.

Loewen said he’s come to expect that every company is out to collect his information. That’s the way the world works.

“It’s kind of become the norm,” he said.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at wmillward@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
The Mansion at MGM boasts hidden luxury
The Mansion at MGM, a hotel within a hotel, features 29 luxury villas for invited guests only. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Under CEO John Helderman, Goodwill of Southern Nevada has expanded its services including the new home of Goodwill’s Veteran Integration Program. Free job services are paid for by revenues generated by Goodwill's retail stores. In 2017, the sale of donated goods allowed Goodwill of Southern Nevada to train more than 17,000 job seekers. More than 2,500 of those found local jobs. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Little bat company on verge of MLB deal
Larry Thein, part owner and one of only three employees of the Tat2 Bat Company of Davenport, Iowa, made the company's first bat in a hog barn. He spoke of the humble origins during a trade show at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nev., on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Texas Roadhouse opens in North Las Vegas
Texas Roadhouse has opened at on Craig Road at Bruce Street in North Las Vegas as part of an emerging "restaurant row." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like