Many people nowadays tend to find themselves without cash – the cold, hard stuff – in their wallets, but now for Tampa Bay Rays fans, that’s a good thing.
They only want you bringing plastic (or Apple/Samsung Pay) into Tropicana Field.
As of this year, Tropicana Field is about to become the first cashless stadium in North America, following a trend among many retail outlets across the country. Rays VP of Strategy & Development William Walsh claims that self-service kiosks at one of the Field’s most popular food outlets, Bird & Batter, cut down wait times from 7-8 minutes to just 3 minutes.1 The Rays are now moving to extend this same streamlining across the board.
Some stadiums in Germany and The Netherlands have already moved to a cashless system, and cashless retail has already exploded throughout China.2
The new system has its critics – New York City banned cashless stores for being discriminatory by default towards those without bank accounts – but Tropicana Field will have stations where fans can exchange cash for a Rays gift card (to be used anywhere inside).3 Other teams and stadiums, such as the Buccaneers with Raymond James Stadium, are definitely eyeing this innovation, having already moved to completely cashless parking lots.
Kudos to Tampa for leading the pack, and I’m looking forward to my next easy-breezy Rays experience.
- Encina, Eduardo A. “Bucking the Trend? Tropicana Field to Become North America’s First Cashless Venue.” Tampa Bay Times, 25 Jan. 2019, tampabay.com/sports/2019/01/25/bucking-the-trend-tropicana-field-to-become-north-americas-first-cashless-venue/.