The NFL and payment services brand Visa have detailed plans to make the American football league’s showpiece Super Bowl game a cash-free event from this season.

Visa, which serves as the official payment services technology partner of the NFL, will allow safe and secure digital payments at the Super Bowl, which this season will take place at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Super Bowl LV, which is scheduled to take place on February 7, will offer 100% digital payment acceptance for fans at Raymond James Stadium, including parking, concessions, retail, mobile ordering and more. It remains unclear whether fans will be permitted at the game amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Beyond game day, the Super Bowl Experience presented by Lowe’s will be completely cashless for the first time.

ATMs that exchange cash for Visa-branded prepaid cards up to $500 will be available for fans who require assistance. The prepaid cards will also work outside the venue.

Renie Anderson, executive vice-president of partnerships and chief revenue officer for the NFL, said: “Visa is one of our key partners in helping us imagine how our fans will experience the NFL in years to come.

“We’re excited to announce that for our biggest event the future is here and we thank Visa for the innovative approach to enable a more secure way to pay at Super Bowl LV. This move will not only make the game more enjoyable and efficient for our fans, but most importantly, safer for all involved.”

Mary Ann Reilly, senior vice-president and head of North America marketing at Visa, added: “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 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.”

Visa has also unveiled a new step-by-step guide to provide leadership support to venues and events for adopting touchless payments globally as the industry prepares for the return of live events.

The guide will seek to ensure venue operators feel equipped to accommodate the growing expectation for touchless commerce experiences and provide guidance on how venues can adopt payment innovations and implement new processes.

Reilly added: “While working on reopening plans, one area Visa urges venue operators to no longer discount is their digital commerce infrastructure. Improving efficiencies, maximising return and ultimately providing a more touchless environment for fans are just a few benefits of digital payments Visa has uncovered and best of all, digital payment execution does not have to be a daunting task.

“Our new step-by-step guide is designed to provide even the digital novice the right tools to start their digital journey and prepare their venues to be ready to welcome fans back. “

A number of US teams have moved to cash-free stadium models recently, including Visa partners the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

Visa’s current deal with the NFL is due to run until the 2025 season. Visa has been a partner of the league since 1995.

Image: Jennifer Snyder/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size