The Tampa Bay Rays, in collaboration with Levy and E15, are excited to become the first cash-free sports venue in North America. Pilot testing in 2018 found that wait times were reduced by up to 50 percent at concessions and retail locations within a cash-free environment. We look forward to an improved and innovative experience for fans this season.
Why are the Rays going cash-free?
Cash-free transactions reduce wait times by up to 50 percent, allowing fans to get back to the game faster. During the 2018 season, Tropicana Field tested our cash-free initiative at one of our busiest concession locations and also in all of our parking lots. Our test locations were extremely successful with the number of people attempting to use cash alone at less than 5 percent. Converting to cash-free also increases the efficiency of stadium operations, allowing for a better fan experience overall.
What if I don't have a credit card, debit card, Rays Season Ticket Holder Card or mobile payment service?
Cash can be exchanged for Rays gift cards in any amount, down to the penny, at retail locations throughout Tropicana Field. To make cash exchange more convenient, additional roaming gift card vendors will be stationed in concessions areas throughout the ballpark. They will be able to exchange cash for preloaded gift cards in $10 or $20 increments. There is no fee to exchange cash for Rays gift cards, and the funds never expire. Also, if your gift card runs out of funds, you can reload the card. Rays gift cards can also be purchased online and received by mail in seven to 10 days.
Will debit cards be accepted?
Yes, along with credit cards, Rays Season Ticket Holder Cards, mobile payments and Rays gift cards.
What are the fees to exchange cash for a Rays gift card?
There are no fees to exchange cash for a Rays gift card.
Can I add funds to the same Rays gift card? Or do I need to get a new card every time I want to exchange cash?
You can use the same Rays gift card all season. Funds can be added to an existing gift card, and the funds on your card never expire. You can check your gift card balance at raysbaseball.com/giftcards.
What's the difference between a Rays Season Ticket Holder Card and a Rays gift card?
A Rays Season Ticket Holder Card is issued to Season Ticket Holders and can be used to access a digital e-cash account to be spent at the ballpark. It also can serve as a digital ticket and parking pass, and allows discounts on parking, concessions and merchandise. A Rays gift card is available to the public and can be loaded in any amount to be used on tickets, merchandise and concessions.
Do I have to exchange my cash in $10 or $20 increments? What if that is not the amount that I plan to spend?
Cash can be exchanged for Rays gift cards in any amount, down to the penny, at retail locations throughout Tropicana Field. There are multiple retail locations in each Food Hall and in Center Field Street. In addition, funds loaded to Rays gift cards never expire.
Can I still tip servers and hawkers?
Fans are welcome to tip service staff throughout the ballpark. Cash tips are fine, and credit card and mobile transactions allow fans to add a tip to their charge, just as you would at another business.
Do I have to pass my credit card to other fans in my row for roaming vendors to charge my card?
These hawkers will have mobile devices that can be passed down the row. Fans will swipe their own card for payment.
What happens if the power goes out?
Power outages affect all aspects of the ballpark operations and the ordering and payment systems are no different. Should this happen, we will work to get all concession and retail sales up and running as quickly as possible.
Is this practice discriminatory towards the low-income population who may be underbanked?
Tropicana Field remains one of the only sporting venues in the country where fans can bring in their own food to enjoy at a game. In addition, fans can exchange cash for gift cards in any amount if they'd like to make a purchase in the ballpark without a credit or debit card. Beyond that, the Tampa Bay Rays proudly support equality and inclusion throughout the Tampa Bay area through various programming and partnerships, and we support hundreds of non-profits through monetary and in-kind donations each year.
For questions about cash-free initiatives at Tropicana Field, email us at: email@example.com.