Photo of baseball fans at a concession stand at Tropicana Field during a Tampa Bay Rays game.

Image Credit: CityofStPete - Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tropicana Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, will be the first stadium in North America to go completely cashless. The decision has angered many Tampa Bay Rays fans; a risky move considering the organization already struggles with attendance compared to other MLB teams. Accepted payment options will include gift cards, credit cards, and Apple Pay. Fans without credit cards will be able to purchase gift cards from vendors that will roam throughout the stadium during games. Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holders will be issued season ticket holder cards that will be able to disburse money as well.

The beer and food hawkers at Tropicana Field will carry hand-held devices that will accept mobile payments. The devices will be passed to fans in the middle of rows and the fan will then swipe his or her card and enter the tip amount for the hawker. Hand held devices will also be used to complete transactions at the various bars throughout Tropicana Field.

Going cashless will have its benefits. It will cut down on losses at concession stands when the inventory and accounting don’t match. Cashless payments will also shorten the wait times at Tropicana Field’s points of sale between 25% - 50%, according to a 2018 pilot program. The pilot program was conducted by Levy Restaurants, who oversees Tropicana Field’s hospitality operations, in partnership with E15 Group.

Parking at Tropicana Field was cashless during the 2018 MLB season and will be during the 2019 season as well. Look for other Major League Baseball stadiums to follow suit and go cashless during the upcoming seasons. Several weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Rays also announced they would be closing off the upper level of Tropicana Field to create a more intimate experience for fans. In the meantime, the Tampa Bay Rays organization and city officials continue to work towards financing a new home stadium for the Rays. 


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