The San Jose Sharks will become the first National Hockey League (NHL) team to accept cryptocurrency after franchise owner Sharks Sports & Entertainment gave the green light for the alternative payment method, according to Sports Business Journal. The franchise is working with Atlanta-based payment processor BitPay for the rollout, which will accept Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum, among others.
Starting next season, the Sharks will accept cryptocurrency for large or recurring payments, such as season tickets, hospitality boxes, at their SAP Center home and sponsorship deals. The Sharks — who did not reach the NHL playoffs this year — join the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks and the MLB’s Oakland Athletics in accepting crypto.
“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).
The Sharks are also considering integrating a cryptocurrency payment option across their wider commercial business, including on the team’s app for purchases at SAP Center, online merchandise sales at the Sharks store and point of sale at the arena.