Marvel Stadium ‘marvel’ous tech leap


Marvel Stadium to introduce Just Walk Out technology Image: AFL

The Australian Football League (AFL) announced recently that the Marvel Stadium in Docklands, Australia, will become the first venue in the Southern Hemisphere to introduce Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology for checkout-free purchases. The move will modernize the stadium’s food and beverage offering, giving fans the ability to grab food and drink and get back to the game faster, thanks to a frictionless shopping experience.

‘AFL’ stated that the new technology will be available at two outlets known as ‘The Runner’ – one food and beverage and one bar – in time for the early rounds of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Fans will simply use their credit or debit card, or mobile wallet payment option at entry, collect their items and leave the store without having to wait in line to checkout. In the time it takes for a goal break, a Marvel Stadium fan will be able to get the refreshments they need without missing any of the action.

Melbourne (Australia)-based the Australian Football League (AFL) is a company operating the premier and only fully professional competition of Australian Rules football and the AFL Women’s and other competitions.

The 53,359-capacity Docklands Stadium, also currently known by naming rights sponsorship as the Marvel Stadium, is a multipurpose sports and entertainment stadium in the Docklands area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction started in October 1997 and was completed in 2000 at a cost of A$460 million.

Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology lets consumers enter a store, grab what they want and get going. The Just Walk Out technology is made possible by Artificial Intelligence (AI) like computer vision and deep learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. Amazon built synthetic datasets to mimic millions of realistic shopping scenarios -including variations in store format, lighting conditions and even crowds of shoppers – to ensure accuracy in any environment.

‘AFL’ further stated that the technology is currently in use at sports venues across the United States, including the 19,580-capacity TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, home of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the 18,300-capacity Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, home of the Seattle Kraken of the NHL.

Fans purchasing alcohol will be required to show their ID to a store attendant for age verification.

Kylie Rogers, AFL Executive General Manager (EGM) Customer and Commercial, said the new technology enhances the stadium’s vision to be the most technically advanced stadium in Australia – “We are continually looking at new ways to innovate and modernize our fan experience, and we know everyone will love the fast, convenient experience that Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology will deliver. Ultimately, this is about the fans, bringing them a next-generation stadium experience so they can spend more time enjoying the footy.”

Said Rob Pickering, AFL General Manager (Technology), “We are excited to collaborate with Amazon and bring the technology to Australia, a first for any venue in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Stated Dilip Kumar, Vice-President of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Applications, “It’s a big day for our Just Walk Out technology as we announce our first implementation in the Southern Hemisphere with two major Australian sporting institutions – AFL and the Marvel Stadium. We’re proud to bring our convenient checkout experience to fans across the globe so that they can get what they need and get back to their seats faster, never missing a moment of the game.”

The project is supported by Marvel Stadium’s food and beverage partner Delaware North and the stadium’s technology partner Telstra.

Delaware North is a global food service and hospitality company headquartered in Buffalo, New York (US). The company also operates in the lodging, sporting, airport, gambling, and entertainment industries. The company employs over 55,000 people worldwide and has over $3.2 billion in annual revenues.

Melbourne (Australia)-based the Telstra Group Limited is an Australian telecommunications company that builds and operates telecommunications networks and markets voice, mobile, Internet access, pay television, and other products and services. It is Australia’s largest telecommunications company by market share.

Added Gary Brown, Managing Director at Delaware North, “Delaware North is always looking to implement technology solutions that are easy to use and improve speed of service for our guests. To that end, we are thrilled to collaborate with Amazon to use their Just Walk Out technology at the Marvel Stadium. These stores will deliver a fast, frictionless experience, helping to eliminate queues and get fans back to their seats faster than ever.”

Stated Nathan Gumley, Telstra Group Owner Energy, Home and Entertainment, “We’re proud of our ongoing role to make the Marvel Stadium one of the most technologically advanced stadiums and entertainment precincts in the Southern Hemisphere. Our strategic partnerships with global leaders like AWS, combined with our video analytics, augmented reality (AR) and wayfinding solutions – underpinned by our leading 5G network and edge computing – are all helping to create more immersive fan experiences.

Seattle (US)-based the Amazon Web Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies and Governments on a metered, pay-as-you-go basis. Often times, clients use this in combination with autoscaling.

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