Tag: Tropicana Field

Hall of Honor 2019: Wit and Wisdom

SUNSHINE STATER: Rick Nafe spent 23 years operating Tropicana Field, home of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays. (Courtesy Rick Nafe) Charismatic Rick Nafe tackled just about every kind of situation in his 40 years of running sports venues in Tampa-St. Petersburg  Rick Nafe typically issues a warning to first-time attendees of the Stadium Managers Association’s annual seminar: Those caught wearing a necktie are in danger of having it cut in two.  It’s a playful threat, but it sends a message to members of the trade group that they can ditch the workplace suit and tie for a more casual atmosphere at SMA. For Nafe, the association’s longtime chairman, the suits are now permanently stored in his closet. The 67-year-old Miami native retired earlier this year after close to 40 years running sports venues in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Twenty-three years were spent running Tropicana Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s […]

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Rays See Transactions Increase With All-Cashless

The Tampa Bay Rays became the first big league team to run an all-cashless venue this season. Team saw ‘resistance fall by the wayside’ at Tropicana Field The Tampa Bay Rays, the first big league team to run an all-cashless venue to expedite sales of concessions, retail, tickets and parking, saw a slight increase in food and drink transactions at Tropicana Field for the 2019 season. The Rays used multiple technology platforms to go cash-free across all lines of business. Most worked as intended, but there were issues with the mobile point-of-sale system for hawkers selling hot dogs, beer, soda, cotton candy and snacks, according to Bill Walsh, the Rays’ vice president of strategy and development.  The system they first used was slow to complete transactions, and resistance by some fans to pay with credit cards resulted in the Rays allowing cash payments in the seating bowl for a big […]

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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, […]

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