English Premier League football club Chelsea has joined a number of teams, stadia and arenas across the country by announcing plans for Stamford Bridge to transition towards a cashless venue.

The switchover to cashless payments will apply on match days and non-match days, with a phased change to be implemented. Chelsea noted that a number of areas within the club currently operate on a cashless basis and the transition will bring the rest of the organisation in line with this approach.

Chelsea hopes the move will increase the speed of service and cut queueing times at Stamford Bridge. Research has shown that cashless transactions can average half the time taken in comparison to transactions using cash.

Chelsea’s hospitality areas and non-match day events operation have already gone cashless, along with various restaurants within Stamford Bridge and some catering kiosks in the West Stand.

The phased approach began yesterday (Sunday) with the stadium’s underground car park machines accepting cashless payments only, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. Chelsea’s ticket office will then go cashless on April 1 and the club plans on being completely cashless by October.

From July, stadium food and beverage outlets, match-day programmes, betting outlets, 50/50 lottery and the Under the Bridge venue will be cashless. The megastore and all merchandising outlets, museum and stadium tours will then follow.

In January, Chelsea announced that Stamford Bridge will become 5G-enabled as part of its new shirt sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Three.

An increasing number of sports and entertainment venues are moving towards a cashless model. Other UK-based venues to have announced cashless plans recently include Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Bristol City’s Ashton Gate and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Image: Lachlan Fearnley