In a ground-breaking move, Californian soccer team, the San Jose Earthquakes, will start accepting bitcoin payments in the upcoming US season.
The Earthquakes’ president Dave Kaval told SiliconANGLE that fans will be able to use bitcoin to pay for items from the team’s merchandise store and to buy tickets. However, hotdogs and popcorn don’t appear to be on the list just yet.
The ‘Quakes’ are a major soccer team, having already won two Major League Soccer Cup titles back in 2001 and 2003. However, they aren’t the first major US sports team to accept bitcoin. The NBA took that honour in January, when the Sacramento Kings became the first major sports team in the US to accept bitcoin.
“In May, we are actually taking bitcoin in our stadium for merchandise, hopefully for concessions as well, but definitely for merchandise,” Kaval told SiliconANGLE.
Kaval pointed out that the ultimate goal is to produce a seamless commerce experience using mobile platforms. Concessions will be a bit trickier, as mobile POS systems will be necessary, but sooner or later Quakes fans could be smearing mustard from their bitcoin hotdog on their bitcoin season ticket.
The team was apparently forced to push back bitcoin adoption after it ran into problems with two payment processors that went out of business. The Quakes then tapped BitPay.
Kaval said his team did a bit of research and decided to use BitPay due to its professionalism and robust payment solutions.
Interestingly, the Earthquakes are planning to move to a new stadium next year, which seems to have been a factor in the team’s decision to try out bitcoin payments. The team hope to employ a number of new technologies in the new facility.
And, of course, technology sells: it’s good for your image, it garners great publicity and the kids love it. The Quakes were quick to recognise this, along with the Sacramento Kings.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
Soccer Image via Shutterstock