To further enhance the fan experience, MBS will become the first MLS stadium to implement a complete stadium-wide cashless transaction model. All transactions will require the use of a credit or debit card or mobile payment beginning with Atlanta United’s home opener on March 10, 2019. No cash will be accepted at any location within the stadium including concessions and retail.
MBS will feature ten cash-to-card kiosks around the stadium for those who prefer not to use their own cards or who prefer to carry cash. Guests will be able to feed the cash into the machine and obtain a pre-paid debit card with the same amount with no transaction fee. These cards can be utilized as any other pre-paid debit card or credit card within the stadium as well as outside the stadium.
Transitioning to cashless transactions stadium-wide allows the stadium to move away from its whole-dollar pricing model, which was initially instituted to help speed transaction times, to further improve MBS’s already best-in-class speed of service. Additionally, going cashless produces more flexibility to adjust prices on food and beverage options more regularly, creating the opportunity to lower prices incrementally versus keeping prices static. MBS already holds the single-event record for all sports venues run by the stadium’s payment and transactions processing partner, NCR, for the number of credit card transactions processed on food and beverage with 76,446 transactions processed at Super Bowl LIII.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) is also raising the bar on food and beverage by lowering prices on some of the most popular food items for a second consecutive year. MBS’s award-winning food and beverage experience, which has inspired a revolution in the industry with several professional and collegiate teams and venues across the country following suit, will reduce prices by 11 percent on five of the top items beginning March 10 for Atlanta United’s first home match against FC Cincinnati.
Thirteen months ago, MBS announced that despite a 50 percent drop in food prices, average spending per fan during 2017 Atlanta Falcons games increased by 16 percent over 2016 with an NFL voice of the fan rating of No. 1 across all food and beverage categories. The 2018 Falcons season proved just as successful as the 2017 season for MBS’s food and beverage model. Continuing to offer the lowest pricing in the league, MBS guests spent on average the same amount as they did in 2017 and fans again rated the Falcons No. 1 in all food and beverage categories for the second consecutive year, including the two new categories added by the NFL for 2018; value, quality, variety, speed of service, variety of beverages and guest service.
As part of MBS’s year-two success, stadium executives created operational efficiencies that further helped to improved bottom line margins by 15 percent over 2017 without raising prices, and while offering reduced prices on six concession items in 2018.
The latest round of price cuts will reduce prices by 50 cents on a variety of items including the hot dog, which is the top selling item at MBS and for Super Bowl LIII. The cuts are as follows:
- Hot Dog: $1.50 (was $2)
- Pretzel Bites: $4.50 (was $5)
- ATL Bud Burger: $7.50 (was $8)
- Ice Cream Waffle Cone: $4.50 (was $5)
- Chips and Salsa: $2.50 (was $3)
“Arthur Blank repeatedly challenges us to find innovative ways to further improve operations across our businesses,” said Steve Cannon, AMB Group CEO. “As we’ve always said, it is incumbent on us to listen and respond to our fans and we’ve heard that value, quality and speed of service are incredibly important; therefore, we’ve again made operational adjustments that address each of these areas. Our fans are our most important influencers and we want to ensure they have the level of service they’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”