Atlanta-based BitPay has partnered with National Hockey League (NHL) team the San Jose Sharks to facilitate the acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payments method.
Becoming the first NHL franchise to embrace the alternative payments, Sharks parent company Sharks Sports and Entertainment has approved the use of the alternative payments, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum, among others, from next season onwards.
The Sharks will accept cryptocurrency for large or recurring payments such as season tickets, sponsorship deals or the purchase of hospitality boxes at the SAP Center arena, home to the NHL side.
“We’re accepting PayPal, so then by definition, we’re accepting cryptocurrency. Why not embrace it and make it more visible as opposed to just doing it through a third party?,” Sharks President, Jonathan Becher, told Sports Business Journal (SBJ).
However, the franchise, which allows payments via PayPal that in turn allows cryptocurrency spending, said it will review the use of cryptocurrency for smaller purchases, including single tickets, merchandise, food and beverages, later down the line.
Cryptocurrencies have burst onto the sporting scene of late, with the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) duo accepting the alternative payment method, whilst the Miami Heat sold the naming rights to its AmericanAirlines Arena to FTX for $135 million.
Last week, the New York Giants also became the first National Football League (NFL) franchise to enlist a cryptocurrency partner with Grayscale.