Visitors to the Houston Astros' Minute Maid ballpark now have access to a new perk. Amazon rolled out its Just Walk Out payment system at the stadium, enabling fans to check out at stores without a cashier. Major League Baseball kicked off its 2022 season on April 7, and this shopping feature could make it easier to grab a snack and hit the stands.
The Just Walk Out tech is featured in two locations at Minute Maid Park: the 19th Hole store on the Concourse level behind Section 156, and the Market store on the Honda Club level behind Section 211, according to an MLB press release. Visitors can buy souvenirs, food and drinks, including alcohol, using a credit card and virtual cart.
How does it work? Customers insert their credit card at the entry gate. Once they're inside the store, anything they grab will be added to their cart, and if they put it back on the shelf, it's automatically removed. Once they're finished shopping, they leave, and their card will be charged for all the items in their virtual cart. Shoppers who purchase alcohol must show their ID to a store employee.
"Our technology is designed to deliver a fast and frictionless shopping experience, so we're thrilled to help eliminate checkout lines for fans when they need to refuel during games and between innings," Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon, said in a statement.
Amazon first launched Just Walk Out in 2016 and has been implementing the checkout-free technology in retail stores around the world. Whole Foods Market, Resorts World Las Vegas, Hudson stores, and TD Garden are among those that offer it in select locations. It's also in use at Amazon Fresh stores. Minute Maid Park marks the technology's first foray into an MLB stadium.