Tropicana Field to go cash-free in 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays saga in St. Pete continues with the announcement that the stadium is going completely cash-free. That means fans attending games will need to pay for all concessions with a credit/debit card, gift card, Apple/Samsung Pay or a season ticket holder’s Rays card.

This makes Tropicana the first sports venue in North America to go cash-free.

Management hopes to enhance the fan experience 

The team hopes this will cut down on wait times in line during games and enhance the overall fan experience. It’s an experiment for sure — and the teams return to the Burg isn’t exactly one of harmonious joy.

The Ray’s pitch for a stadium in Ybor City was shot down after overall costs became far too high.

We posted about the cash-free move on Instagram, and so far it seems to be greeted by fans with a resounding and unanimous “no.”

Fans already opposed to the change

Many music and food festivals have taken the cash free approach. Attendees preload wristbands with money connected to their credit cards. They simply swipe at the register and move along. However, those events are one off happenings. The baseball season is long.

We can imagine fans from out of town visiting the field for maybe the first time won’t be too thrilled to find out they can’t use their cash and need to go load up a gift card in order to purchase concessions.

First cash-free event is Fan Fest

But it could wind up being a great success, and move that inspires other venues to make a similar move. Only time will tell.

The first cash-free event takes place on Saturday, February 9, which is Rays Fan Fest.

Do you agree with the cash-free move? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: