Bitcoin adopted by San Jose Earthquakes in first at a team stadium

San Jose's Cordell Cato, right, gets the jump on FC Dallas' Walker Zimmerman on his way to scoring a goal in Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on May 10.
San Jose’s Cordell Cato, right, gets the jump on FC Dallas’ Walker Zimmerman on his way to scoring a goal in Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on May 10.
(Jim Gensheimer / MCT)

Cash, credit or bitcoin will all be acceptable forms of payment at San Jose Earthquakes games starting Sunday when the Major League Soccer franchise becomes the first professional sports organization to accept the digital currency at its stadium.

“In the spirit of Silicon Valley, the Earthquakes are constantly looking for ways to innovate,” team President Dave Kaval said Monday in a news release.

The Earthquakes will be the first to accept the virtual currency for tickets, merchandise and concessions purchased in person, thanks to a partnership with Coinbase, one of the leading bitcoin wallet companies, which allow users to store, send or receive the currency.

However, the Sacramento Kings hold the distinction of being the first sports organizaion to take the currency as payment online for tickets and merchandise.


Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that lacks government oversight or regulation. Coins can be “mined” using computer algorithms or purchased through various exchanges online, which have become popular with investors because of bitcoin’s fluctuating value.

As of Monday evening, Coinbase listed the current price of a single bitcoin at $458.17.

Not everyone is a fan of the currency. The lack of oversight has been a major source of criticism because of the recent collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange in Japan, which resulted in the loss of millions of dollars worth of the digital funds.

Despite bitcoin’s volatile nature, it and other currencies championed by the Internet may be moving toward becoming mainstream.

Another such currency, Dogecoin, garnered attention from the general public after some reddit users banded together to raise $55,000 to sponsor Phil Parsons Racing’s No. 98 car driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racer Josh Wise at Talladega earlier this month.

Reddit users then again led the charge and helped get Wise into NASCAR’s Sprint All-Star Race ahead of popular driver Danica Patrick in a fan vote online. Wise received $70,000 for starting the All-Star race last weekend.