Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field has become the first college sports venue to debut Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
The Amazon platform, which has been installed at a number of major league venues in the US, launched at Kyle Field for Texas A&M’s 17-14 college football defeat to Appalachian State on Saturday.
Kyle Field, one of the 10 highest capacity stadiums in the world with over 100,000 spectators attending most games, has been deemed an ideal setting for Just Walk Out and Amazon One, technologies designed to make shopping convenient in high foot traffic areas such as sports stadiums, airports and grocery stores.
Three stores have been installed at Kyle Field, offering fans products like snacks, chips, soda, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages. Fans purchasing alcohol are required to show their ID to a store attendant for age verification.
To shop, fans enter the store by inserting their credit card or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device at the entry gates. Just Walk Out technology determines what items shoppers take from or return to the shelves, and when they leave, the credit card they inserted or linked to their Amazon One ID will be charged for the items they took, with no checkout required.
The stores at Kyle Field, dubbed ‘March In, March Out’ are a collaboration between Texas A&M Athletics, hospitality partner Levy, and Levy’s innovation studio, DBK Studio, and are powered by Amazon technologies.
“I hope that our concept is proven that it does get people confident in the technology of being frictionless,” Chris Warner, vice-president of hospitality and strategy at Aggie Hospitality for Levy, told The Eagle.
“They see the benefit of how much faster it is than the traditional belly-up bar and that there is a desire and demand from fans to increase this footprint throughout the stadium to include traditional concession stands with hot food offerings that we have in the stadium.
“I’m hoping the fanbase will speak loudly that this is the direction they want to go, again, to be able to get back into their seats and enjoy the reason that they’re there and that’s the Fightin’ Texas Aggie football team.”
Warner said this season will act as a “proof of concept to test the technology, test the fan engagement with it, and see how it worked,” with a view to potential expansion for the following campaign.
“We do expect that as the season goes on, the return rate of people that use those stores is extremely high with Amazon metrics with the other locations that they’ve opened,” he added.
“So, we do expect either through word of mouth or promotions that more people will continue to use the stores as they see it as a great option to get a beverage or a snack in a relatively short amount of time.”