Tampa Bay Rays make historical decision with cashless payments

Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is set to be the first cash-free sports venue in North America.

In collaboration with hospitality partner Levy and analytics and tech firm E15, Tropicana Field’s concessions, team stores, box office, and all other points–of–sale will operate cash–free in 2019.

During the pilot tests of the programme it was found that by eliminating cash entirely, transaction times at the stadium were cut in half allowing lines to move faster and generally increasing service-to-supporter satisfaction.

Rays Vice President of Strategy & Development William Walsh commented: “We have made significant investments each year to improve the ballpark experience for fans, including an overhaul of our approach to food and beverage since the beginning of our partnership with Levy.

“This change will increase speed of service and reduce lines throughout the ballpark.”

Jaime Faulkner, CEO of E15 added: “Throughout our testing last season at Tropicana Field, we saw that fans quickly adapted to cash–free environments and loved the resulting benefits to the game–day experience.

“By offering fans a variety of forms of electronic payment, coupled with the ability to exchange cash for gift cards, we can ensure that fans are having frictionless experiences and getting back to enjoy the game.”

This historical decision continues a trend of a more future-focused, cash and paper free experience in American sports venues – following Visa’s declaration of their ambition to provide the first “cashless Super Bowl”.

Fans will still be able to use all major credit cards, Apple or Samsung Pay, and their Season Ticket Holder Rays cards – along with options for those who do not have credit cards like purchasing gift cards from any retail location.

The initial test of the complete cashless programme will be on February 9 at the teams free ‘Fan Fest’ event.