San Jose Sharks become first NHL franchise to accept cryptocurrency
By Bob Garcia
Silicon Valley hockey fans will have a new way to pay for season tickets next season. The San Jose Sharks announced that they will accept crypto payments for season ticket packages, leases on luxury boxes, and sponsorship deals.
The NHL franchise joins the Oakland Athletics in welcoming cryptocurrency, after the Bay Area baseball team sold six-person suite package for all 81 home games for 1 bitcoin in March. At the time Bitcoin traded in the $60,000 range and the Athletics sold the same package at a cash price of $64,800. Bitcoin has since dropped deep into the $30,000 range.
The San Jose Sharks have partnered with BitPay to process its cryptocurrency payments. Hockey fans will be able to pay using bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, dogecoin, or wrapped bitcoin. BitPay also supports five different US dollar-pegged stable coins. The NHL franchise has been welcoming PayPal since 2020, which means there’s already a cryptocurrency connection.
President of Sharks Sports and Entertainment noted, “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?”
At launch, cryptocurrency payments will only be available for large purchases such as season tickets and sponsorship deals, but the hockey team is exploring whether it wants to accept crypto for merchandise, food, beverages, and single game tickets. Luxury box prices at SAP Center, where the Sharks play, typically cost $6,500 to $7,500. Annual leases run from $195,000 to $375,000.