The LSU athletic department has announced it will only accept credit card and mobile payments for merchandise and concessions this fall. It is the school’s second move this week to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus at events.
The decision to go cashless in 2020 comes a day after LSU announced it will use mobile ticketing for the football season, a move aimed to create contactless transactions at Tiger Stadium.
Within a news release Thursday, LSU announced fans at its athletic events will be able to purchase concessions and merchandise using all major credit cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay. Tiger Cash can only be used for concessions.
LSU said it is working on a prepaid card purchase option for people who don’t have one of the four payment types available.
“This is all about improving the fan experience and safety at our venues,” LSU senior associate athletic director Robert Munson said in a statement. “Reducing contact points when making transactions is a key component of that and will allow our fans to purchase concessions and merchandise with a heightened level of comfort.”
Both moves show LSU is still planning to play its sports with fans inside its facilities, including Tiger Stadium, during a pandemic that has recently hit a surge in Louisiana. The Southeastern Conference has still yet to make an official decision on the fate of the league’s football season, although the league’s presidents are reportedly voting on a reduction with a 10-game, league only season.
The details on just how many fans will be allowed in Tiger Stadium are still being worked out.
Several schools have reduced stadium capacity to meet social distancing precautions. Ohio State announced Tuesday its stadium’s crowd size will likely amount to no more than 20% of overall capacity, and Texas told its ticketholders last week that its stadium capacity will be reduced to 50%.
“We continue to prepare for multiple scenarios with seating and capacity,” Munson said in a statement. “Digital tickets certainly gives us some flexibility in that planning process.”
LSU detailed its mobile ticketing program in a news release, which said football tickets will be distributed through mobile delivery and accessed by ticketholders through digital wallets on smartphones.
The mobile tickets will be delivered to fans through email beginning in late August. There will be no physical season ticket books or paper tickets. Print-at-home tickets have also been discontinued for the year.
If a ticketholder doesn’t have a smartphone, they’ll be able to request their tickets through alternative options through an online assistance form. The release did not detail what alternative options there might be.
In LSU’s FAQ on mobile tickets, if someone who doesn’t have a smartphone, but someone else they are attending the game with does, they can use that person’s smartphone to access the tickets. If that isn’t an option, the person is encouraged to call LSU’s ticket sales and services team.
Ticketholders can access, transfer, and re-sell tickets through an online ticket interface, called My Account 2.0. Season ticket holders can use the interface to view upcoming events, download tickets to their digital wallet, transfer tickets to multiple people in text messages and post tickets for resale on StubHub.
“The ability to receive, share and use tickets in a contactless manner is a top priority for us,” LSU associate athletic director Brian Broussard said in a statement, who oversees ticket sales and operations. “We have been planning for this transition and the current environment accelerated this move. We are excited to offer this new convenience and ease of use for our fans.”
LSU opens the season against UT-San Antonio on Sept. 5 at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers have six more scheduled home games: Texas (Sept. 12), Ole Miss (Sept. 26), Nicholls State (Oct. 3), Mississippi State (Oct. 24), Alabama (Nov. 7) and South Carolina (Nov. 14).