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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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New app allows hockey fans to order food without leaving seats


POTSDAM – Tech savvy hockey fans craving a snack can now order a hot dog and soda, without ever having to worry about missing a goal.

A web-based app recently developed by a group of Clarkson Entrepreneurship students lets Golden Knight fans order food from the Cheel Arena concession stands from their seats.

Innovative Delivery System unveiled the to-your-seat service Friday night during Clarkson’s game against Princeton.

“If you don’t want to miss any of the game, if you don’t want to miss the game-winning goal being scored, you can just have your food delivered to you,” freshman student and CEO of the student-run company Dietrich B. Diehl said.

Fans will simply use their iPhone or Android to scan one of the 1,000 Q.R. codes around the arena, a black and white sticker on the floor in front of the seats.

A menu will pop up with all the food options the concession stand has to offer. Fans will choose their order and for just a $1 service fee, the food will be delivered to their seat.

But it’s not just smartphone users who can take advantage of the program. IDS’s web program allows anyone with Internet access to use the app.

The concept of an arena delivery service began at the beginning of the hockey season, when Mr. Diehl and his neon green-shirted delivery crew shuffled through the stands, taking orders and delivering food.

The idea had promise, but was a strain on hockey fans wanting to watch the game as well as the staff, Mr. Diehl said. Thus, the mobile app was born.

In late November, the group presented their plan to a Board of Investors as part of their Innovation and Entrepreneurship class.

Investors liked the idea and granted the funding, allowing IDS to bring in a programmer to design the app. Mr. Diehl said technology glitches shouldn’t be a problem during this weekend’s debut of the program.

“We know the app itself is working seamlessly and the system is working great,” he said.

IDS will offer the program during the three remaining men’s hockey games at Cheel this season. If all goes well, the delivery service will be back when the puck drops next season.

But Mr. Diehl and his group of budding businessmen aren’t satisfied with just the arena delivery service. The 14-member team is hoping to expand to universities throughout the upstate and Western New York region, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

They are also working with restaurants in downtown Potsdam. The goal is to give students a chance to order takeout to their dorm rooms, without having to leave their campus digs.

Mr. Diehl said he is hoping the four games at Cheel will give IDS some real-life data, information they can use to make their pitch to the other arenas or restaurants.

“Right now we can’t give them real numbers,” he said. “This will us help them get real numbers and get a sense of how it works.”

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