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Now fans can phone for food

Special to The Globe and Mail -- The aggravation of waiting in line for a beer and a hot dog -- and maybe missing the action -- is over for sports fans at 20 stadiums in the United States.

At those venues, ardent fans can use their cell phones to order and pay for food and drink and then have it delivered to their seats.

While no teams or stadiums have signed up yet in Canada, Patrick Bird, president of Toronto-based Cellbucks Payment Systems Inc., says he is currently negotiating with a three potential new clients in Ontario.

"We expect to make those announcements any day now," he says.

What gives Mr. Bird confidence in his prediction is the take-up rate among U.S. sports teams for his Cellbucks system. It was launched last July at Dunn Tire Park, home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons baseball team.

Since then, five more stadiums have gone live with the food-and-drink-by-cell-phone service and the balance is now preparing to launch for season-opening baseball games.

As fans enter the stadium, they are handed a menu with a telephone number to call for food delivery and a series of numbers beside each menu item.

In most cases they will already have registered with Cellbucks.

If not, they can do it by telephone right from their seat in the stadium.

When they feel peckish, they call the number and are asked for their Cellbucks number.

Once the credit-card transaction is completed, the Cellbucks computer transmits the order, and a runner is on the way.

© The Globe and Mail

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