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The Washington Nationals have enjoyed tremendous success on the diamond — including winning the World Series in 2019. The organization is committed to creating world-class fan experiences.

The Nationals deployed Smart Venue technology from NTT DATA at their home stadium, Nationals Park, to reduce queue times at the ballpark concessions stands. Now, with predictive insights presented in an easily accessible dashboard, the organization can address long lines in real-time, and help get fans back to their seats to enjoy the game.

Necesidad empresarial

The Washington Nationals recognize that business success in any industry means prioritizing the fan experience. For sports and entertainment venues, this means optimizing the guest experience with swift transactions and friendly interactions.

The Nationals operations staff could physically identify and observe issues such as long concessions lines. However, without clear insight into the causes of delays, staff were limited in their ability to anticipate and take action. The organization sought an IT transformation to deliver analytics to help solve the problem.


2M guests enjoy a better fan experience
4 concession stands analyzed over 33 games
  • Integrates multiple data sources that impact concessions efficiency
  • Delivers a user-friendly, mobile-responsive analytics dashboard
  • Generates real-time alerts for in-game decision-making
  • Processes historical data for predictive analysis
  • Offers Smart Venue extensibility across multiple stadium services
Mike Carney


The Nationals have been leaders in developing innovative technology to deliver every element of a first-class fan experience. NTT DATA has provided us with the technology to help us create those experiences.

Mike Carney, Chief Revenue Officer, Washington Nationals


Recent upgrades to point-of-sale (POS) systems and network technology at Nationals Park meant the organization had some of the necessary infrastructure in place. However, to fully gather, analyze and respond to crowd and game data, the Nationals needed computer vision and data analytics technologies. Additionally, staff members wanted those insights in their hands in real time so they could adjust operations while navigating the dynamic gameday environment.

“We know that for every guest coming into this building, the game is their number one priority,” says Jonathan Stahl, the Washington Nationals’ vice president of experience and hospitality. “When they’re in line for concessions at our ballpark, we want to make sure our fans are greeted with a friendly smile, the transaction happens quickly, and they can get right back to their seats to enjoy the game.”

A game of analytics

The NTT DATA Smart Management Platform empowers decision-makers with data collected from a wide range of sources. Having supported other sports venues, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NTT DATA’s Smart Venue capabilities helped the Nationals enhance the fan experience at the team’s home venue.

The Smart Venue solution uses software analytics to process and present data gathered from connected technologies. These include computer vision cameras, POS systems and optical sensors strategically positioned throughout a venue.

The Nationals were most interested in understanding the dynamics affecting concessions queue times — the amount of time a fan spends in a concessions line before completing their transaction. Many factors, both in and out of the venue, contribute to queue times, including concession type, location, staffing, attendance, inning, opponent and weather.

Smart Venue covers all the bases

The Nationals had recently upgraded the stadium’s POS and network systems. However, to collect, process and analyze the desired queue-time-related data, the organization needed additional infrastructure. The team turned to NTT DATA to augment the ballpark’s infrastructure and deliver an end-to-end intelligent analytics solution.

NTT DATA worked with the Nationals to roadmap a Smart Venue project focused on queue times at four concessions stands over 33 games and then procured the computer vision cameras and supporting technologies required for the project.

After integrating the computer vision system with the stadium’s POS and network infrastructure, NTT DATA deployed additional integrations to gather and synthesize relevant in- and out-of-the-park data. Leveraging that data, the deployment team designed a mobile-responsive application that delivers actionable intelligence in user-friendly dashboards.

In the final step of the deployment, NTT DATA provided comprehensive training to the Nationals staff. Doing so ensures that everyone — from the business strategy analytics group to the gameday concessions staff — can use the Smart Venue solution to help reduce queue times and enhance the fans’ gameday experience.

“This is information we’ve never had access to before. Now we can quickly and easily digest it in a form that alerts us to what’s most important,” says Konrad Coutinho, senior director of strategic partnerships for the Washington Nationals. “We can be more granular, more specific and more precise in how we problem-solve game to game.”

“The Smart Venue technology is a great end-to-end solution for us. If the system sees a concessions bottleneck, it will send an alert to our operations command center,” Stahl adds. “And we can get alerts on our mobile phones while we’re out on the concourse to respond even faster.”

Data from the pilot program also shows promise for post-homestand and post-season planning. Based on historical data collected throughout the season, the Nationals can predict when and where to adjust concessions staffing or product mix to keep lines moving and fans smiling.

The Nationals swing for the fences

After the successful pilot, the organization is imagining other ways Smart Venue technology could revolutionize the fan experience.

“Baseball is a sport with a storied history, and it’s evolving for the benefit of our fans. The guest experience at our ballpark should evolve too,” says Missy Jenkins, vice president of strategic partnerships for the Nationals. “We’re looking to apply Smart Venue technology to transform guest experiences throughout the park.”

Those transformations include enhancing transactions at Nationals Park retail shops, streamlining how fans buy tickets, enter and exit the park, and even modernizing how they watch and interact with the game at the ballpark.

“What matters most to us is our fans going home and telling their family and friends how much fun they had at Nationals Park,” says Mike Carney, the Washington Nationals’ chief revenue officer. “The Nationals have been leaders in developing innovative technology to deliver every element of a first-class fan experience. NTT DATA has provided us with the technology to help us create those experiences.”

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