Per ESPN, the Sacramento Kings are the first sports franchise to accept bitcoin payments for tickets. The news comes as the Kings were nearly out the door and on their way to a different city. However following a multi-year relocation process that seemingly would send the team to Seattle, the plans were rejected by NBA owners in 2013. The failed relocation led to the eventual sale of the team to TIBCO CEO and Founder, Vivek Ranadive for $535 million on May 2013. Upon buying the team, Ranadive cited his interest to keep the team in Sacramento.
When purchasing the Kings, Ranadive had interest in applying new technological trends in his operation of the team, as he told ESPN.com that “When I sold the NBA on keeping the team in Sacramento, my pitch included using the sports franchise as a social network to push the technology envelope. This is an example of that.” He also added that “My kids would go to games and ask why we didn’t accept Bitcoin.”
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Tickets will become available for purchase with bitcoins starting March 1st. Payment processing for bitcoin transactions will be using technology from BitPay, adding to the Atlanta based bitcoin merchant tools company, another “headline” name client to their customer list which already includes WordPress and Zynga.