SBD/January 16, 2014/Franchises

NBA Kings To Become First Pro Sports Franchise To Accept Bitcoin Starting March 1

The NBA Kings announced today that they "would become the first professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Fans beginning March 1 "will be able to buy gear in the team store and pay for tickets with the digital money." Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive said that the acceptance of Bitcoin is "one step closer to allowing fans to keep their wallets at home." While Bitcoin is five years old and has a market value of roughly $11B, the "idea of retailers accepting this form of payment is in its infancy." The Kings will be using Bitcoin processor Bitpay, which "accepts the digital dollars and pays the Kings in actual cash" (ESPN.com, 1/16). Kings President Chris Granger said that the team will "immediately convert the currency into cash." He added the team does not expect Bitcoins to be a "major component of our business" at the outset. However, the Kings expect the "use of the currency to grow over time." In Sacramento, Ryan Lillis notes Ranadive has indicated that he "wants the team to be among the most technologically-advanced franchises in the world" (SACBEE.com, 1/16). At presstime, one Bitcoin was worth approximately $826 (THE DAILY).
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