Baseball fans, swipe your credit card for 'Ice cold beer here!’
Charge your Crackerjacks at 8 MLB parks whose in-seat hawkers accept cards
Personal finance journalist with an eye for industry news
It’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, and you’ve got a sudden hankering for lobster tacos and a cold brew.
No cash for the beer man? You no longer have to attempt a Rickey-Henderson-like dash to the concession stand to pay with your credit card and get back to your seat without missing a clutch hit.
Major League Baseball food and beverage partner Aramark recently announced its “hawkers” – the people who roam the stands selling trays of beer, peanuts and other goodies – will accept credit cards in select big league stadiums this season.
“Expanding credit card payments to general seating is a natural evolution and we believe we are the first concessionaire to roll out this option on this scale within MLB,” said Aramark spokesman David Freireich. “The vendors will continue to accept cash payments, too, but this is another payment option for fans.”
Freireich said Aramark piloted in-seat cashless payments during the 2017 NFL season and at one ballpark in Florida during MLB’s spring training. Aramark is in the final stages of testing the system at each of its MLB stadiums to ensure infrastructure and systems compatibility.
“We expect most of our eight MLB food locations will offer this payment option to begin the season and anticipate all of them will do so not long after opening day,” Freireich said.
Freireich said a “handful” of in-seat vendors would be armed with card payment devices, and that the number could potentially increase depending on acceptance and usage.
Aramark serves food and beverages at the following stadiums:
- Citi Field, home of the New York Mets
- Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies
- Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies
- Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox
- Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals
- Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros
- PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays
Aramark’s announcement was part of the roll-out of its 2018 food menu, which includes such culinary delights as lobster tacos at Citi Field, a pulled pork pierogie hoagie at PNC Park and poutine at Rogers Centre.
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