For the first time in 55 years, cash will not be accepted at the Super Bowl.
The National Football League will make its championship game all-digital with the support of its corporate partner, Visa. Super Bowl in Tampa Bay will only use contactless payment methods at LV games and league league fan experience events.
“It sounds efficient,” NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Renee Anderson told CNBC on Wednesday, discussing the plans.
“We knew it was just a matter of time,” she said. “We just accelerated that time.”
Although Kovid-19 helped speed up paper currency, Anderson said the decision to go cashless was in the pre-epidemic work.
As part of the renewal of their contract in 2019, Visa was already converting the league’s top events into a cashless environment. The new arrangement runs through the NFL’s 2025 season.
“The cash-free Super Bowl was the main goal of our new contract,” said Mary Ann Reilly, Visa’s senior vice president of its North America marketing division. “The plan was to get a cash-free Super Bowl within five years, and we’re doing it in less than two years.”
Reilly said attendees can still bring cash and turn it into eight “reverse ATMs” at the stadium and a prepaid gift card of up to $ 500 through the league’s Super Bowl experience, which will be held outside.
More expense, more data
Reilly stated that Visa cost fans 25 percent more at the live event when they are using contactless payments.
Switching to all-digital payments will also allow the NFL to collect more efficient data on consumer behavior. Although Visa data does not show what consumers buy, when, where and how much Visa clients spend.
Reilly said the data analytics from the transaction can help stadiums and merchants in many ways. “It will also improve revenue for stadiums,” she said. “Think how much time they spend just processing and cash management. Stadiums will save money on that cash management. “
It also helps Visa, which earns fees from transactions. The company recently reported a 17 percent drop in revenue in the year-ago quarter, as the epidemic halted international travel. Visa has helped turn many NFL stadiums into contactless options, including home fields for the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Giants.
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay is scheduled to host the game on February 20 with 20 percent capacity. Anderson said the NFL is not planning to change the plans around the Kovid-19 vaccine news, but it will explore “potential” if the epidemic situation improves.
Anderson did not commit to the cashless Super Bowl in 2022 when the game moved to Los Angeles, but he said the NFL’s goal is to continue developing the technology.