Minor League Team Debuts Baseball’s First Autonomous Retail Experience 

minor league baseball, cashierless payment, retail, Worcester Red Sox, Standard AI

The Worcester Red Sox and Standard AI on Friday (Dec. 10) launched the first autonomous retail experience in professional baseball in the WooSox Market at Polar Park, a minor league baseball stadium in central Massachusetts, according to a press release. 

The WooSox Market uses cameras equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud connectivity to allow fans to shop for their favorite ballpark snacks and souvenirs, then pay for them without scanning, waiting in a line or stopping at a check out location. 

Fans can add payment information through the Standard AI Checkout app to access the cashierless experience and see their receipts a few minutes after they leave the WooSox Market. 

“Worcester has a rich history of innovation, making it ideal for baseball’s first autonomous retail market,” said WooSox President Charles Steinberg in the announcement. “The WooSox Market adds a wonderful convenience that means less time in line and more time enjoying our beautiful ballpark.” 

Standard AI powered the WooSox Market’s autonomous setup with ceiling-mounted cameras and proprietary computer vision software, which connects each shopper with the items they pick up. Fans enter the store, grab their desired items and tap their phones to walk out. 

The Standard AI platform does not use facial recognition. 

“Sporting events are the perfect venue for autonomous retail, ensuring no fan has to wait in line or miss a minute of action on the field. We could not be more excited to partner with the Worcester Red Sox to open baseball’s first autonomous retail store,” said Jordan Fisher, CEO and co-founder of Standard AI, in the joint announcement. 

Related: MA Minor-League Baseball Stadium To Offer Cashless Transactions 

The WooSox and Standard first announced their plans to enable cashierless transactions at Polar Park before it was even completely constructed in 2019. 

“We are pleased to be the first to introduce this innovative technology at a ballpark,” Worcester Red Sox principal owner and chairman Larry Lucchino said at the time of the initial announcement. “We look forward to introducing this enhancement at Polar Park and in other ballparks around the country.”