The San Jose Sharks are set to become the first National Hockey League (NHL) team to embrace cryptocurrency via a partnership with Atlanta-based payment service provider BitPay.
From next season onwards, franchise owners and parent company Sharks Sports and Entertainment have approved the use of the alternative payments, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum, among others.
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.
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.
“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).
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 month, the New York Giants also became the first National Football League (NFL) franchise to enlist a cryptocurrency partner with Grayscale.