You Can Finally Use Bitcoins to Buy NBA Tickets

The Sacramento Kings, who are trying to be at the forefront of new technology, are accepting Bitcoins starting in March.

The Sacramento Kings' Isaiah Thomas (22) drives to the basket against the Utah Jazz' Trey Burke (3) at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
Matt Berman
Jan. 16, 2014, 6:05 a.m.

Got some spare Bit­coins that are burn­ing a hole in your di­git­al pock­et? Good news! You will soon be able to put them to­ward watch­ing De­Marcus Cous­ins and the NBA’s Sac­ra­mento Kings.

As of March, the Kings will be the first pro-sports fran­chise to ac­cept Bit­coins for tick­et sales and team mer­chand­ise. It’s hard to ima­gine loads of NBA fans sud­denly buy­ing tick­ets and jer­seys us­ing the vir­tu­al cur­rency, as the Kings are well aware. But it’s just an­oth­er big pub­lic step for a team that’s try­ing to be on the cut­ting edge of tech use in sports.

The Sac­ra­mento Kings’ new own­er­ship prides it­self on be­ing par­tic­u­larly tech-savvy. “I want to make the Kings the poster child for the use of big data,” Kings own­er Vivek Ra­na­divé re­cently told Na­tion­al Journ­al. Hop­ping on the Bit­coin band­wag­on is an ob­vi­ous nod to that tech cul­ture.

The di­git­al cur­rency is “yet an­oth­er way” to cater to the team’s tech-ori­ented fans, says Kings Pres­id­ent Chris Granger. At least one group of fans has been ex­pli­citly clam­or­ing for the Kings to ac­cept Bit­coins. “My kids would go to games and ask why we didn’t ac­cept Bit­coin,” Ra­na­divé told ES­PN.

As of Thursday morn­ing, one Bit­coin is worth $937.45 USD on Mt. Gox, the self-pro­claimed world’s largest Bit­coin ex­change. The price of Bit­coin has been quite volat­ile over the last year, but more and more U.S. busi­nesses are start­ing to ac­cept the cur­rency. Earli­er this month, Over­stock.com be­came the first ma­jor on­line re­tail­er to al­low Bit­coin pay­ments.

Next up for the Kings? Ac­cord­ing to Ra­na­divé, the team is be­gin­ning to ex­plore what it can do with Google Glass.

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