Stamford Bridge is the latest in a growing number of stadia and arenas across the UK to transition towards a cashless model. Venue operators looking to enhance the customer experience and boost revenues are increasingly going cashless in a bid to reduce queues, improve customer service, beef up security and improve profits. Reports suggest the average customer spend per visit to a stadium event can increase by as much as 25% when using a card payment instead of cash.
Chelsea said the total switchover to other methods for paying will apply on both match days and non-match days and will be the culmination of a phased change. The club said that many areas of the business already benefit by operating on a cashless basis so the transition will bring the rest of the organisation in line with this approach. A cashless Stamford Bridge will match expectations for how modern stadiums should operate, not least because of the undoubted benefit it will have on the speed of service and cutting queue times in all areas of the club operations on a matchday. Research has shown cashless transactions can average half the time taken in comparison to transactions using cash.
The club said it appreciates the majority of fans are already using cards to make their purchases at Stamford Bridge, so the impact of going totally cashless should not be very noticeable. Hospitality areas, non-match day events operations, various restaurants within the complex and some catering kiosks in the West Stand have gone cashless already. The phased approach will start on March 1 with the underground car park machines accepting cashless payments only, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. The club’s ticket office will then go cashless on April 1 for all season ticket renewals and match by match tickets.
The aim is to be completely cashless by October. Other approximate key changeover dates to note are: July 2020 – Stadium food and beverage outlets, match day programmes, betting outlets, 50/50 lottery, Under the Bridge. October 2020 – Megastore and all merchandising outlets, Museum and stadium tours.