Melbourne Cricket Ground goes check-out free

  • April 3, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest sports stadium has introduced check-out free technology from California-based Zippin.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and Delaware North, the hospitality provider at the MCG, have partnered with Zippin to introduce frictionless shopping in the stadium.

The first two MCG Express outlets have opened in the Ponsford Stand of the stadium, at the city end of the ground.

MCG Express is powered by Zippin whose checkout-free technology has enabled the deployment of frictionless shopping to a range of retail settings. Using AI, machine learning and sensor fusion technology to create better customer experiences, the outlet will allow sports fans and concert goers the opportunity to buy food and beverage items faster than before.

Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) CEO Stuart Fox said the introduction of the technology was part of an overall commitment to improve the patron experience at the MCG.

“The MCG has always been a place of innovation having been home to the first ever Test and one-day international cricket matches and where modern Australian football took formation,” said Fox. “As custodians of the people’s ground, we are continuously looking for ways to improve experiences for patrons and, through our partnership with Delaware North and Zippin, we will deliver a quicker food and beverage service through the opening of MCG Express.”

All visitors need to do is tap, shop and go. If they pick up an item and change their mind, they just put it back and they won’t be charged.

“It’s a really cool concept we know patrons will enjoy using because it gets them back to their seat in no time to enjoy their favourite game or concert,” said Fox.

Founded in the USA, Zippin’s technology is used across a number of stadiums including the Denver Broncos’ Empower Field at Mile High, Indianapolis Pacers’ Gainbridge Fieldhouse and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium. It is designed for easy DIY installation, allowing MCC and Delaware North to deploy efficiently and confidently.

Delaware North Australia and New Zealand managing director Gary Brown outlined what he was looking forward in the partnership with the MCC and Zippin, saying: “Delaware North has seen the benefits of deploying Zippin’s checkout-free technology in sports stadiums across the globe, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Zippin and bring this innovative technology to Australia at the iconic MCG. We look forward to working with Zippin and the MCC to provide patrons at the MCG with the opportunity to experience frictionless food and beverage service at MCG Express outlets.”

Patrons purchasing alcoholic beverages will be required to show their ID to a store attendant for age verification and open their can before leaving the outlet.

Zippin ( CEO Krishna Motukuri added: “We are thrilled to partner with visionary organisations like MCC and Delaware North to usher in a new era of fan experience. Patrons at MCG can now experience Zippin’s frictionless and convenient shopping that gives them more time to enjoy the thrill of live events at this iconic venue, without waiting in lines.”

The MCG Express food outlet is located on level two, just behind section 36, and the bar outlet is on level one behind section 33. The Ponsford Stand’s main entry point is gate one.

See how the technology works at: