August 2, 2005 in City

Fans can call for wieners even as M’s lose

By The Spokesman-Review
 

In tech-happy Seattle, a ballpark tradition has a new twist: Fans can order food and drinks on their cell phones.

The program, called OrderUp, was introduced in mid-July and works with all wireless phone carriers and from all 47,000 seats at Safeco Field.

Verizon Wireless customers also can play trivia games, receive game updates, win prizes, vote for their favorite song to be played during a Mariners baseball game or share game photos on the Safeco Field video screen.

“It’s already caught on,” Rebecca Hale, director of public information, said. “Some people are using it for its convenience, and others, because they think it’s cool.”

Spokane Indians fans, meanwhile, will have to continue buying their ballpark franks the old-fashioned way. Paul Barbeau, vice president-general manager, said going high-tech is not a high priority.

Odds are, people who find text messaging as intimidating as a Randy Johnson fastball won’t strike out while trying to order Cracker Jack on their Motorola. The menu, which is distributed by Safeco seating hosts at the end of the second inning, has simple instructions on how to use the service. OrderUp can be accessed by sending a text message, calling an 800 number or logging on to a Web site.

Prices are the same as those at concession stands, but tax and a gratuity fee are added, and orders must total at least $10. The food is delivered within six to 12 minutes, but not all food and beverages sold at Safeco are on the OrderUp menu.

Now, if only the fans could order up some more wins.


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