English Premier League football club Leicester City has announced that King Power Stadium will operate completely cashless concourses during the 2019-20 season.
Over 80 per cent of kiosks in general-admission areas were cashless last season as the club carried out a phased approach to improving the speed of service at King Power Stadium. For yesterday’s (Sunday’s) season-opening match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, all concourses were cashless.
Supporters will now only be able to purchase food and beverages using a debit or credit card with chip and PIN. Mobile phones and contactless payments for amounts under £30 (€32/$36) will also be accepted.
Leicester said the initiative is designed to cut down on pre-match and half-time queuing times and improve the overall level of service and match-day experience. According to the club, last season’s phased roll-out considerably reduced average waiting times and also improved security.
The Filbert’s Treats kiosk in the Family Stand, as well as the Foxes Fanstore, ticket office and hospitality areas will continue to accept cash.
An increasing number of sports clubs are making the move to cashless. Last month, Austrian Bundesliga team Red Bull Salzburg announced that its Red Bull Arena would go fully cashless through a partnership with financial services company Mastercard.
The Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team also announced plans to trial a cashless model at T-Mobile Park, while Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in March became the first NFL and Major League Soccer venue to implement a complete cashless transaction model.
Leicester’s move to cashless comes after the club last week appointed Legends International to carry out “crucial” market research plans that will underpin plans for the proposed expansion of King Power Stadium.
The research process will establish a better understanding of supporters’ match-day routines and preferences, which will in turn assist the club in planning the development of fan-orientated facilities and services to enhance the experience for visitors.