The NFL and corporate partner Visa are committing to making all Super Bowls cashless moving forward, starting with Super Bowl LV.
Fans will still be allowed to bring cash to Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium this year, but will be able to convert it into prepaid gift cards worth up to $500 at ATMs.
Cashless elements will include parking, concessions, retail and mobile ordering, as well as the outdoor “Super Bowl Experience.”
Though the COVID-19 pandemic pushed forward the desire to eliminate paper currency, going cashless at league events was already a major goal of the NFL and Visa’s 2019 contract renewal, which runs through 2025.
“Long before the pandemic sparked demand for safe, touchless experiences, Visa has been at the forefront of in-stadium digital payment innovation. Teaming up with the NFL to now make payments completely digital at the Super Bowl not only achieves a primary goal of our partnership, but is transformative for the future of sporting events,” Visa SVP and head of North American marketing Mary Ann Reilly said in a statement.
“Visa will continue to lead the point of sale digital transformation at stadiums nationwide, because converting to touchless, digital payments is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for fans and concessionaires alike.”
Fees from contactless transactions could provide a boost for Visa, which reported a 17% decline in revenue in Q4. Reilly told CNBC that the company has found that fans at live events spend 25% more using contactless payments.
Reilly also said that going all-digital will allow both the league and Visa to collect “more efficient” consumer data.”
Super Bowl LV is currently slated for Feb. 7 with spectators at 20% capacity. The stadium officially holds 65,000 and is expandable to 75,000; over 70,000 fans attended Super Bowl XLIII, the last time it was in Tampa.