Starting May 25, soccer fans will be able to use Bitcoin to not only buy tickets but also fan gear and refreshments such as beer and hot dogs at the San Jose Earthquakes’ Buck Shaw stadium when they host Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
Just a stone’s throw away from Silicon Valley, the ‘Quakes’ are positioning themselves as innovators in their own right. The San Jose soccer club has teamed up with the San Francisco-based digital wallet and payment processor, Coinbase, to become the first professional sports team to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for tickets, merchandise and concessions.
The club president, Dave Kaval said:
"In the spirit of Silicon Valley, the Earthquakes are constantly looking for ways to innovate. Coinbase's Bitcoin payment processor adds another cutting edge payment option that further streamlines the commerce experience for fans."
Coinbase, which recently announced that they will be giving $10 worth of Bitcoin to students who create an account, is one of the most established platforms in the Bitcoin economy, which serves over 30,000 merchants worldwide and processes over US$15 million worth of bitcoins monthly.
For those wanting to take advantage of the new payment option to buy a cold beer, for example, fans must have a Bitcoin wallet installed on their mobile device. Bitcoins will be accepted by the ‘Quakes’ at the ticket gate, the fan store, and the concession stand where tablets running the Coinbase Merchant app will be able to scan your QR-code and process the transaction.
Moreover, since the new Bitcoin payment system is entirely software-based, the process of migrating and implementing it at the Earthquakes' new stadium should be completely seamless when it is expected to open next year.
It will also be interesting to see if other sports teams such the cross-town San Jose Sharks will follow suit but offering fans another payment option certainly won’t hurt sales and may prove to be a boon for business.
Earlier this year, another California-based sports team, the Sacramento Kings, announced that they will accept Bitcoin for merchandise and tickets at their online store via BitPay.