AT&T Stadium Recruits ParkHub To Modernize and Streamline Parking Operations

Executive Summary

In 2014, AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, needed a solution to improve parking operations for both operators and visitors, while also providing greater visibility into their inventory and revenue. George Baker Sr., ParkHub’s founder and CEO, promised that he and his team would accelerate and optimize AT&T Stadium’s parking operations. By leveraging ParkHub’s proprietary software tools and strategies, the young company delivered on Mr. Baker’s promise.

ParkHub’s first opportunity to impress arrived later that year when AT&T Stadium hosted the American Music Awards, a national marquee event. AT&T Stadium asked the ParkHub team to showcase their service on a “test run” basis, and ParkHub seized the opportunity to prove its value at a world-class venue hosting a popular event with help from Parking Company of America and Dialexa. Shortly after this successful test run, the venue entrusted ParkHub to help modernize its massive parking footprint (13,000 parking spaces). ParkHub deployed 92 of its mobile point-of-sale devices, Prime, and provided access to its lot occupancy intelligence dashboard, Portal, in August 2015.

A few months later, AT&T Stadium partnered with VenueNext (a technology platform that help guests and venue operators manage live events) and requested ParkHub integrate with the platform by feeding real-time parking inventory, transactions, and traffic flow. Through this shared business alliance, ParkHub and VenueNext would join forces in April 2016 and make the formal partnership announcement at their U.S. Bank Stadium joint launch in August 2016. By October 2016, ParkHub was appointed the “Official Parking Partner” of the AT&T Stadium, and Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, announced his direct financial investment in ParkHub.

About AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium opened on May 27, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. Due to its colossal size, the venue earned its share of nicknames: Jerry World, the Death Star, the Eighth Wonder of the World. It is the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys and the fifth largest stadium in the NFL (with a seating capacity of 105,000). The stadium boasts a retractable roof and the world’s 24th largest high-definition video screen. The facility, owned by the city of Arlington, routinely hosts noteworthy events, including in just the last decade: high-profile concerts with U2 and Beyonce, Super Bowl XLV, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the NBA All-Star Game, WrestleMania XXXII, AMA Supercross Championship, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Monster Jam, national boxing matches, and high school and college football games.

“We wanted a real-time inventory solution... We wanted to see more realized revenue.”

- Pat Byrne, Procurement Director at The Dallas Cowboys

The Challenges

Adopting a Multi-Payment System

Before ParkHub, AT&T Stadium worked on a “two-part ticket system” - meaning they only accepted cash or pre-paid parking. This limitation significantly slowed the transaction process and irritated the venue’s customers. These customers expected credit cards to be an acceptable payment option when parking. Before the venue engaged ParkHub, a cashless customer was turned away at the lot entrance, forced to drive against traffic in order to locate an ATM and return back to the lot, annoyed and late. AT&T Stadium’s adherence to the two-part ticket system resulted in significant frustration and negativity at the front-end of the customer experience.

Replacing the Manual Tracking System

Limited payment methods also limited venue management’s ability to accurately account for parking lot inventory at the end of each event. It was difficult to determine whether an event or a particular lot generated substantial revenue. With multiple parking lots, lot attendants, and unforeseen circumstances that often happen with live events, the cash-handling process was expensive and hard to manage. Each night ended with the parking attendants convening in the operator’s office for the “cash out” process. Often, attendants would have less cash than they should. With pre-paid tickets, the parking attendants had to physically hold on to the ripped stubs along with their cash. This inefficient, manual system provided no real protection against human error, slippage, and ingress issues.

Increasing Visibility Into Operations

AT&T Stadium lacked the ability to make real-time decisions with their parking operations. With no way to track payment transactions on-site, the venue’s operators had minimal insight into their lot operations during their events. Their ability to accurately determine parking volume was significantly limited even after the event. Venue operators lacked visibility and control. Tactical, on-the-fly changes were delayed and challenging; operational changes could only occur on a day-to-day basis, and those changes were initiated upon the responsibility and honesty of the parking attendant who turned in the pre-paid stubs and cash. Without the operational insight needed, it was hard for AT&T Stadium to optimize resources for future events, let alone have a true view of their parking revenue in real-time.

How ParkHub Helped

ParkHub launched at AT&T Stadium on August 28, 2015. First, ParkHub installed Prime, a mobile point-of-sale system that provides the ability to track and receive cash, credit cards, NFC payment methods (Apple Pay and Android Pay), and scan and validate pre-paid passes. Upper management and parking operation employees were also given access to Portal, the parking intelligence dashboard. Portal communicates directly with Prime, which means that lot occupancy and payment data are reported in real time.

The Portal dashboard enables users to view and organize parking transactions by time, payment method, lot, or attendant during and after events. It also provides the much-needed real-time insight into lot occupancy and per-lot revenue which empowers venue operators to enforce accountability with each of their attendants. This customer and transaction data is displayed on an interactive dashboard as the event is managed. Portal admins are able to download post-event reports as well. Operators know exactly when to redirect traffic from one lot to another, which decreases the parking time and pain points customers endured before their event.

The Results

  • ParkHub detected 600 invalid parking passes (i.e. fraudulent and duplicate passes) during the first three ParkHub managed events, resulting in a potential savings up to $75,000
  • Fan Satisfaction Score related to parking increased from 50% in 2014 to 86% in 2015
  • Parking revenue increased over $911,500 from fiscal year ending in March 2017
  • The stadium saw a 700% ROI in parking revenue for fiscal year ending March 2017

Following the implementation of Prime and Portal, AT&T Stadium saw immediate results. Prime empowered the parking employees by acting as their transaction management system, taking credit cards, Apple/Android Pay, and tracking all cash and pre-paid tickets. Attendants no longer needed to carry around torn stubs, and there was a noticeable decrease in the amount of cash the attendants were responsible for holding throughout the event.

“I believe our fans are very pleased knowing they can now pay with credit cards instead of cash, and they recognize the impact this has had on our overall parking experience. It is a “win” for all those involved: the stadium, fans, and parking attendants.”

– Jud Heflin, Director of Planning & Logistics at AT&T Stadium

The customer experience improved dramatically, eliminating two of the primary pain points – unexpectedly needing cash and long parking transaction times. Customers were arriving at their events earlier. This contributed to a positive impact overall on the customer experience, and the changes increased the venue’s fans’ parking experience satisfaction score by 36% over the prior year. Regarding the stadium’s numerous reserved parking sections, parking attendants were able to utilize a feature in Prime that recognizes the driver’s name and reserved spot when scanning a parking pass. For the first time, drivers were being welcomed to the event by name. In addition to enjoying decreased parking time, this extra VIP element enhanced the experience dramatically and added a personal touch to a historically impersonal process.

AT&T Stadium not only gained an automatic tracking system along with a multi-payment system through ParkHub, the venue also gained real-time insight into their parking operations. This empowered the operators to maximize lot occupancy opportunities as soon as those opportunities arrived, and gave them the flexibility to create future options at the same time. The technology provided AT&T Stadium a legitimate way of holding their parking employees accountable at the end of each event; no more excuses about lost ticket stubs or mishandled cash. To put that into perspective, AT&T Stadium captured over 600 invalid parking passes (a potential savings up to $75,000) during the first three events with ParkHub, and increased total parking revenue by at least $911,500 over the previous year. Given the instant and tangible benefits that ParkHub provided right out of the box, it’s not surprising that Jerry Jones quickly transitioned from customer to investor in April 2016.

“ParkHub’s parking management has dramatically improved our fans’ arrival into the parking lots and improved our internal controls and operational efficiency.”

- Jerry Jones Jr., Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President / Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

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