Author: Don Muret

Falcons, Atlanta United Going Cashless

AMB Sports & Entertainment has added cash-free points of sale at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the past year. (Getty Images) Transition comes as part of AMB Sports’ decision to lower some concessions prices further Cashless venues are gaining traction at the highest level of sports. AMB Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC, has committed to eliminating cash transactions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The move takes effect March 10, when Atlanta United opens its 2019 home schedule against FC Cincinnati. Mercedes-Benz Stadium becomes the second big-league building to go cashless for food and merchandise after Tropicana Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Levy runs the food service at both venues and merchandise at the Trop. Fanatics runs retail at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Other facilities in Atlanta are moving in the same direction. Delaware North Sportservice, the food provider at SunTrust Park,… Continue Reading Falcons, Atlanta United Going Cashless

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Miami Open: Paradise in a Parking Lot …

At Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Open extends to 30 combined competition and practice courts outside the NFL facility. (Courtesy Hard Rock Stadium) … and inside an NFL venue, as the Miami Open makes its debut at Hard Rock Stadium Over the past decade, big league teams have become more aggressive and creative in booking nontraditional sports events to fill stadiums and generate incremental revenue. The X Games, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the U.S. Women’s Open bowling tournament and Fenway Park’s Big Air snowboarding and ski jumping competition are just a few examples. In South Florida, the Miami Dolphins are ready for the next step: For the first time in sports, professional tennis is taking over an NFL venue.  The Dolphins’ 65,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium and a portion of the vast parking lots surrounding the building have been transformed into a sports and cultural oasis for the Miami Open… Continue Reading Miami Open: Paradise in a Parking Lot …

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Braves at a Florida Crossroads

An aerial view from late January shows the Atlanta Braves’ new spring training complex in North Port, Fla. (Courtesy Atlanta Braves) Natural habitats, rising developments surround new CoolToday Park Baby alligators, turtles, wild boars and baseball. What else could you want from spring training? CoolToday Park, the Atlanta Braves’ $120 million spring training complex under construction in North Port, Fla., has its fair share of critters, including young gators inhabiting a retention pond near the minor league fields behind the stadium. “Watch where you step,” said Pendulum Studio’s Jonathan Cole, the Kansas City sports architect teaming with local firm Fawley Bryant to design the ballpark. The site, situated 35 miles south of Sarasota, is part of an old cattle ranch that once spanned 10,000 acres of farmland on Florida’s west coast. The ballpark and other developments are slowly encroaching on the state’s natural habitat. Such is life. It’s all part… Continue Reading Braves at a Florida Crossroads

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Rays Make a Bold Move With Cashless Conversion

Concession stands at Tropicana Field will no longer take cash this season. (Courtesy Tampa Bay Rays) Experts agree that’s where industry is heading, but some say hard money still has a place Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays are fully committed to cashless technology. They’re the first big league team to convert all food service, merchandise, parking and ticketing operations at their stadium to cash-free systems. At Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the Rays’ home since their inaugural season in 1998, baseball fans must use credit or debit cards, the team’s affinity card, mobile technology such as Apple Pay or gift cards to pay for concessions and retail.  When fans buy gift cards with cash at merchandise stands and from team employees roaming the ballpark, it’s the only time currency is exchanged as part of the cashless program. The gift cards are available in all dollar values, said Bill Walsh,… Continue Reading Rays Make a Bold Move With Cashless Conversion

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For Ballparks, Market’s Right for Naming Rights

A rendering shows the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark once new signs and lighting have been installed. (Courtesy Seattle Mariners) Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle all find partners for new long-term deals The recent trend for Major League Baseball teams nearing the end of stadium naming-rights deals has been to find new partners for long-term agreements. Over the past few months, the Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners announced new deals to rebrand their venues for American Family Insurance, Oracle and T-Mobile, respectively. The agreements for Oracle Park in San Francisco and T-Mobile Park in Seattle took effect before the 2019 season. In Milwaukee, American Family’s deal kicks in after the 2020 season. The agreement extends to the Brewers’ spring training facility in Maryvale, Ariz., which is now called American Family Fields of Phoenix after going through $60 million in upgrades. Brewer MillerCoors, AT&T and Safeco Insurance all declined to renew naming… Continue Reading For Ballparks, Market’s Right for Naming Rights

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