The Paperless Park

A trip to Tropicana, May 27, 2015.

Even after being swept by the Boston Red Sox over this Easter weekend, the Rays have done surprisingly well to start their 2019 season. But the Tampa Bay club has a nagging problem that isn’t getting any better that might actually be augmented by changes its making.

Tropicana Field became the first park/arena in major North American sports (the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL) to not accept cash for anything you can get there – a Rays cap, parking, a hot dog, and so on. Anything you can get now requires a card – be it your credit card, a debit card, or a gift card you can get there in exchange for cash. On top of which, the barely reached stadium capacity shrunk yet again to around 25,000 – a ceiling that has so far only been touched once when the Rays opened the season against Houston.

Ever since the season began, fans have been very happy with the sudden rise of the club (who won 90 games last year) – but actually going to the game has become something the Rays fan in my “circle” don’t want to discuss. The “card thing” scares them from taking that trip to the Trop – they don’t want to share their personal information there, or risk some sort of unseen card fraud there.

I don’t think the ownership of the Rays is trying to scare their public away from attending the games – but at the same time, how does this club not wind up somewhere else in a few years under these current policies? Enjoy the Rays while you can – sooner or later, they will be somewhere else, like Montreal, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Portland, or somewhere else.

One thought on “The Paperless Park”

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