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Mercedes-Benz Stadium going cashless and further dropping concessions prices

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, is going cashless from this weekend, it has been announced.

It follows a similar move made by the MLB Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Parent company, the AMB Group, says the move will “further enhance the fan experience” and provide “more flexibility to adjust prices on food and beverage options more regularly, creating the opportunity to lower prices incrementally versus keeping prices static”.

Payment for food, beverages and merchandise will be required by credit cards, debit cards or mobile payment services such as Apple Pay.

For fans without credit or debit cards, “reverse ATM machines” will be installed, where cash can be loaded onto universal Visa debit cards, which can be then used for purchases.

In addition, the stadium’s innovative fan-friendly concessions model – which SportBusiness profiled – has been updated.

Prices on a variety of the top-selling items will be reduced by 50 cents, beginning on Sunday for Atlanta United’s first home match against FC Cincinnati.

They are: hot dog $1.50 (was $2); pretzel bites $4.50 ($5); ATL Bud Burger $7.50 ($8); ice cream waffle cone $4.50 ($5) and chips and salsa $2.50 ($3).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, however, that the Atlanta sales tax of 8.9 per cent will now be added to concessions prices, unlike before, effectively increasing some of these prices. Last year’s new $5 craft beer will now cost $5.45 after tax.

“We’re going to revert to what everybody else does in the world and the price on the board is pre-tax,” Greg Beadles, chief operating officer of AMB Sports and Entertainment, said. “And then the tax will be added to your transaction.”

Further reading: Atlanta United use fans as ambassadors to enter global elite for attendance