Mercedes-Benz Stadium Goes Cashless to Cut Costs
In an effort to keep costs and prices down, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is going cashless. Beginning March 10, the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons will no longer accept cash for food, drinks, merchandise, and other purchases made within the stadium. Only credit cards, debit cards and mobile payments will be accepted for payment.
In 2017, the Mercedes-Benz stadium had the lowest food and drink prices in the NFL. During that year, fans spent an average of 16% more than they did the prior year. Stadium officials aim to keep those prices low by eliminating the costs associated with handling cash (cash drawers, extra security, transaction times, etc.).
The stadium is planning on decreasing the price on the five highest selling products. For example, the price of a hot dog will drop from $2 to $1.50.
To accommodate cash customers, the stadium will have 10 reverse ATMs on site. Patrons can insert $10 to $1,000 and receive a Visa prepaid debit card to use for their purchases.
This is a big step toward Visa’s vision for a cashless Super Bowl, but it may not last forever. Several states are currently working on legislation to prevent businesses from going cashless. There are already laws in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Philadelphia that require retailers to accept cash, and other states and cities are pursuing similar measures.
Advocates of cash transactions point out this may not save that much money since credit card and debit card transactions have an interchange or swipe fee which is typically 2% to 3% of the retail price.