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App tracks bathroom, concession wait times at Sabres games

A new feature in the One Buffalo app lets you know before you 'go.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. – New technology on the “One Buffalo” smartphone app could spare you from missing key plays at a Sabres game if you have to go to the bathroom or want to buy a beer.

To take advantage of it, make sure the app is up to date, and under the Sabres icon, the list should now include “wait times.” The information there is provided by a company called “Wait Time.”

So how is this measured? Wait Time designer Elizabeth Grabowski explained that they install censors above concessions and bathrooms to interpret the crowd volume.

"The sensors are turned into spectrum bars, which act kind of like a traffic light. So green, yellow and red are the colors that we use to communicate with fans,” Grabowski said. “Green means a short wait, yellow mean a medium wait, red means a long wait.”

It won't just be on your phone. Vertical monitors, four on the 100 level, and three on the 300 level, are also throughout the concourse and will display the wait times.

"So people can see…it's something we're trying to do for the fans to make it a better fan experience,” said Michael Gilbert, Senior Vice President of the Buffalo Sabres. “It's just something we're trying to make a little nicer for our fans.”

Gilbert said the Sabres surveyed fans last spring and that the addition of the wait times feature this year is in direct response to what fans said they’d like to see improved.

“We heard some of the issues they were having, and this is one of the things we're trying to do to alleviate that, having more monitors and more information for them,” he said.

If you already use the One Buffalo app, this may seem similar to a feature available for Bills games: A similar kind of technology helps let fans know which entrance gates have the shortest line to get in to New Era Field.

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