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 backing of its corporate partner, Visa. Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay will use only contactless payment methods at the game and the league’s fan experience events.
“It sounds efficient,” NFL executive vice president and chief revenue officer Renie Anderson told CNBC on Wednesday when discussing the plans.
“We knew it was just a matter of time,” she said. “We just accelerated that time.”
Although Covid-19 helped accelerate ditching paper currency, Anderson said the decision to go cashless was in the works before the pandemic.
As part of their contract renewal in 2019, Visa was already converting the league’s top events into cashless environments. The new arrangement runs through the NFL’s 2025 season.
“A 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 to a cash-free Super Bowl within five years, and we’re doing it in less than two years.”
According to a recent TSG and ETA survey, over one-third of consumers are planning on using contactless payment methods while shopping this holiday season.
The Strawhecker Group (TSG) and the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) surveyed nearly 1,000 U.S. consumers in November to understand spending habits, payments preferences, and opinions on emerging payment technologies this holiday season.