The world has changed over the past year. The global COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a basic standstill for many months and even as society fluctuated between restricting social distancing requirements and easing restrictions, much of life as we know it has been put on hold. Concerts, large gatherings, and more have been cancelled until further notice. And much to millions of Americans’ dismay, the sports world took a big hit during the coronavirus.
Now, however, a piece of the American lifestyle is finding its way back to some sense of normalcy. Baseball teams are beginning their spring training sessions, much to the delight of baseball fans everywhere. However, some things will look very different to spring training attendees.
In Mesa, Arizona, spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, Sloan Park is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its customers by going cashless. That being said, they wanted to ensure that fans who prefer or need to pay for concessions in cash aren’t left out in the cold. So, they have implemented reverse ATM technology into the park.
A reverse ATM allows customers to insert cash into the machine. It then uploads that amount onto a prepaid Mastercard credit card. The prepaid card can then be used around the stadium to purchase concessions and merchandise.
For customers who are concerned about using all of the cash that they loaded onto the card while at the stadium, they don’t have to worry. Cards that are not used up can be used outside of the ballpark at all of the places that accept Mastercard, such as the grocery store, the gas station, and at retail stores around the country.
Baseball fans are also encouraged to download the MLB app before entering the stadium. The app allows fans to order seats and concessions through the ordering tab. When an order has been completed, the app will send a text message to the fan’s phone with a QR code. When the fan goes to the concession stand, they show the QR code to the cashier and will receive their order. Alcohol purchases made through the app will require customers to show an ID before receiving their drink.
While these steps and technologies are new, they are meant as a way to ensure the safety of spring training goers without shutting out fans who still want to pay for items using cash. By including a reverse ATM in their park, Sloan Park is ensuring the inclusion of all baseball fans, not just those with access to a bank credit or debit card. And that is just about as good as mom, baseball, and apple pie.