The San Jose Sharks are the latest pro-sports team to start accepting crypto payments, following the NBA's Kings and Mavericks

The San Jose Sharks are the latest pro-sports team to start accepting crypto payments, following the NBA's Kings and Mavericks
Jeff Chiu/AP
  • The San Jose Sharks ice hockey team will accept crypto payments next season.
  • Initially, fans will use Bitpay to exchange crypto for season tickets and suite leases.
  • The Sharks are following in the footsteps of pro-sports teams like the NBA's Kings and Mavericks.

The San Jose Sharks will accept cryptocurrency in payment for season tickets, suite leases and partnerships from next season, the first NHL team to make the move. It's following in the footsteps of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks, and the MLB's Oakland Athletics in embracing crypto as a pro-sports team.

Fans will be able to make purchases via the BitPay service in bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, bitcoin cash and wrapped bitcoin, or can use five stablecoins pegged to the US dollar. The Northern California ice-hockey organization started accepting purchases made via PayPal, which has crypto capabilities, last year.

It was the natural next step to move to bitcoin and the like, according to Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports and Entertainment. "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?" he told the Sports Business Journal.

While initially crypto will be valid for big or recurring payments, the Sharks will evaluate whether to open the initiative up to single-game tickets, merchandise, and at-game food and beverage sales, Becher said on Twitter, as he confirmed the Sharks' crypto "roadmap".

Eventually, the initiative could cover Sharks memorabilia in the form of NFTs, Becher said in a tweet. "I do think the blockchain will have more of an impact on sports & entertainment than people realize," he said.


Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have undergone a sell-off recently that wiped $200 million off the crypto market within a day, as investor interest wanes and as critcism from influential figures washes in. Prices continued to lose ground on Tuesday, falling around 10% across the board, also driven by the prospect of tighter regulation.

Various pro-sports teams have already started accepting cryptocurrency payments, including the MLB's Oakland Athletics and the NBA's Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks.

Among other pro-sports organizations, the Oakland A's became the first major baseball team to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment when it sold season tickets to six-person suites for one bitcoin each in March.

In 2014, the Sacramento Kings were the first top-level basketball team to accept crypto for purchases, and it said earlier this year that its players and staff could opt to be paid in cryptocurrency.

Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks began accepting crypto payments for tickets and merchandise in 2019, and the NBA team added dogecoin to its payment options earlier this year. Cuban has been very supportive of the dog coin, which began as a meme currency, and even helped a TikToker use it to buy tickets to a Mavericks game in April.