ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — If you're going out to the ball game at Tropicana Field in 2019 you won't have to worry about bringing cash to pay for those peanuts and Cracker Jacks because the Tampa Bay Rays announced they're becoming a cash-free sports venue.
This means Tropicana Field will be the first cash-free sports venue in North America.
The Tampa Bay Rays are partnering with Levy and E15 to make all concessions, team stores, box office and other points-of-sale locations cash-free operations this year.
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The Rays say this will help lines move faster and increase fan satisfaction.
The forms of payment accepted at concession stands and retail stores inside the ballpark will include major credit cards, Rays gift cards, NFC mobile payments (such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and Season Ticket Holder Rays Cards.
Fans without electronic forms of payment can exchange cash for gift cards in any amount at all retail locations and in $10 or $20 increments through roaming gift card vendors throughout the ballpark.
“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,” said Rays Vice President of Strategy & Development William Walsh. “This change will increase speed of service and reduce lines throughout the ballpark.”
“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,” said Jaime Faulkner, CEO of E15. “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.”
The first cash-free event will be Fan Fest on February 9, 2019.