The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia has announced plans to trial an artificial intelligence-powered system to help reduce queuing times for fans.

Working in partnership with Detroit-based software company WaitTime, the venue said that the technology will use artificial intelligence, sensors and advanced algorithms to track queues and wait times at certain food and beverage outlets at the stadium.

This information will be displayed across screens and allow patrons to see the wait times at an outlet and nearby stations before they join a queue.

The 100,000-capacity MCG said that the installation process is already underway and the new system will be in place for a trial during the Australian Football League (AFL) Finals Series.

Stuart Fox, chief executive of the MCG, said: “Queue times are a major challenge for large venues such as the MCG – when you have thousands of people trying to place an order at peak times you are always going to have some level of delay.

“This system will not only help to inform MCG patrons about the expected wait time, but also show and direct them to other nearby outlets that they may not have previously considered, and which may result in a quicker service experience.”

The technology will be placed in the ground and basement levels during the trial. However, should the trial prove successful, the MCG could expand the system to other areas of the stadium and make it available during other events that take place at the venue, such as cricket matches and music concerts.

Zachary Klima, chief executive of WaitTime, said: “As an incredibly forward-thinking venue, dedicated to creating amazing experiences for their patrons, MCG is the perfect partner for WaitTime as we debut our technology in the southern hemisphere.

“We’re looking forward to working with Australia’s biggest and most renowned stadium to ensure fans spend less time waiting and more time enjoying the entertainment.”

Image: Paddy Briggs