5G Edge Cashierless Checkout has become a game-changer in the retail world, especially in the sports and live entertainment space where a quicker trip to a concession stand can be the difference in seeing or missing the best part of a game, concert or show.
In an effort to improve the fan experience at their home arena, the Florida Panthers of the NHL® implemented cashierless checkout ahead of hosting February’s 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. It was the next step in the team’s ambitious plan to digitally transform operations throughout the organization, and to enhance the fan experience at Amerant Bank Arena.
The digital checkout solution allows fans to enter a cashierless concession store, select food and beverage items and walk directly out so they can get back to their seats without missing much or any of the action on the ice.
To implement cashierless checkout within a tight timeframe ahead of a high-profile All-Star Weekend, the Panthers turned to a reliable partner—Verizon.
Renewing 5G partnerships to introduce cashierless checkout
A key starting point in the Panthers’ digital transformation occurred when Verizon outfitted Amerant Bank Arena with full 5G Ultra Wideband coverage ahead of All-Star Weekend.
Having already successfully completed similar arena projects in the sports and entertainment industry, Verizon proved to be the perfect partner for the Panthers, especially in their effort to have cashierless checkout implemented ahead of the All-Star Weekend.
“Verizon has the resources at their fingertips to be able to throw a lot of firepower behind a project on a tight timeline,” said Bryce Hollweg, Chief Operating Officer for the Panthers. “We got this turned around in a matter of weeks.”
Leveraging the arena's ultra-fast 5G Ultra Wideband capabilities, Verizon's 5G Edge Cashierless Checkout solution uses mobile edge computing (MEC), digital cameras and machine learning (ML) to help create a streamlined checkout process.
With cashierless checkout at Amerant Bank Arena, hockey fans gain access to the cashierless vending station using an app on their mobile phone. As they select items for purchase, cameras in the store recognize the selection and add the items to the fan’s virtual shopping cart. From there, a fan simply exits the station with their purchases and a digital receipt is sent to them.
In close coordination with the Panthers, intensive testing and execution led to a successful launch in time for All-Star Weekend. In addition to bringing its deep expertise in 5G and MEC to bear, Verizon's project and delivery management abilities helped ensure a successful launch within a short window.
"Amazingly, we were able to get this thing up and going, literally doing testing through Friday afternoon with the arena opening that Friday night. It was that close,” said Brian Gorney, Managing Director Sports & Entertainment for Verizon Business Group. “The Verizon and Panthers teams did incredible work in what was a compressed time frame.”
Verizon has the resources at their fingertips to be able to throw a lot of firepower behind a project on a tight timeline. We got this turned around in a matter of weeks.”
Bryce Hollweg, Chief Operating Officer, Florida Panthers