Stadium of Light to go cashless for fans ahead of new season
Sunderland fans will be going cashless when they next enter the Stadium of Light. A new ordering app has also been introduced by their club.
SAFC has teamed up with EPOS (electronic point of sale) company Bleep and financial services giant Global Payments to make the stadium fully cashless ahead of the 2021-22 season.
The initiative acts a covid measure and will come into use when Hull City visit for a pre-season friendly on Friday, July 30.
Contactless card payments will be introduced throughout the ground for all purchases of buy food, drinks and merchandise inside the stadium.
Ahead of a return to full capacity, the club says the new developments will reduce queuing times and congestion at kiosks, speed up service and improve hygiene. Supporters will miss less of the action and have more peace of mind.
The club is also introducing a new match day ordering app which will enable fans to order food and drink through their mobile devices from their seats, or even as they travel to the stadium.
Further information on the app “will be released in due course”, the club has said.
Other recent developments allow supporters to also enjoy a “fully connected experience”, with stadium WiFi enabling them to enjoy a free and stable connection inside the main bowl of the stadium.
Supporters are advised that cash will no longer be accepted inside the ground, however, it will be possible to buy match programmes outside using coins and notes.
Sunderland have not played regular league fixtures before supporters since the 2019-20 season. Their average attendance before that season was prematurely ended due to coronavirus was 30,118.
The last game to be played in the stadium was on May 22 when Lincoln City visited for the second leg of the League One play-offs.
The 10,000 fans present were the first to be admitted in 14 months. Numbers were still restricted and fans were advised to take covid tests before and after the game.
Dave Rose, vice-chair of supporters group Red and White Army, welcomed the development saying: “Many supporters’ view will be that it’s progress. It’s the way the game is going anyway for fans.
“My only worry is for supporters who might not be quite so tech-savvy, but it’s a welcome development from the club.”