SPORTS fans may never have to leave their seats to buy a beer or pie again.
In a win for spectators not willing to miss a second of the action, Etihad Stadium will tonight launch an in-seat food and beverage service that allows fans to order from the aisles and keep their eyes on the ball.
Taking Melbourne’s sporting experience to a new level, spectators will use an online smartphone app to buy food and drinks in what is thought to be a world-first stadium service.
Fans that download the free QkR app to their iPhone or Android phone will be able to scroll through the food and beverage menu, scan or type in a unique code on their seat and place their order online to be paid by credit card and delivered by a waiter.
The pampering service will be tried among 1000 fans at tonight’s A-league soccer match between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United and could be introduced all over the stadium if successful.
Etihad Stadium spokesman Bill Lane said the technology could soon be extended to 8500 seats.
“Fans can now drive into the carpark, take a lift to their level, sit under a roof if it’s raining and now have food and drinks delivered to their seat,” he said.
“If it’s a raging success we’ll have to see how many waiters are available around the stadium.”
MasterCard developed QkR and piloted the technology at two Sydney cinemas in January, with the only added cost to food and drinks a credit card surcharge.
MasterCard spokesman Matt Barr said the technology could be used at any sports stadium including the MCG and was only bound by the number of seats set up to support the scheme.
“Once the stadiums see what an experience this could be, I think they will be excited about the cool experience that anyone in that stadium would have getting a beer or a pie while they are still at their seat,” he said.
The closest sports fans have come to the “Gold Class” treatment is in the stadium’s exclusive Medallion Club.