Emerging Tech, Data & Media , Future Stadiums & Venues

Washington Wizards and Capitals fans get Alipay option

World-first for Alibaba-owned payment platform at Capital One Arena.

by Joe Levy

Washington Wizards and Capitals fans get Alipay option

The Capital One Arena has become the first sports venue in the world to utilise Alipay, the Chinese digital payment platform.

The announcement by Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) adds another payment option for fans of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Washington Capitals and National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Washington Wizards as well as visitors to the venue.

Alipay, a subsidiary of ecommerce group Alibaba, will be available for use across ticketing, concessions and team merchandise, allowing for a seamless experience for platform users, targeting visitors from China.

Alipay serves one billion users worldwide and a recent PWC study found that 60 per cent of Chinese tourists made payments with their mobile phone on overseas trips in 2018.

This venture marks a new feature of the MSE and Alibaba partnership which was signed in October 2018. This deal included branding and also saw an exhibition game between the Wizards and Chinese basketball club the Guangzhou Long-Lions.

Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer at MSE, said: “Not only will it give our fans another way to pay quickly and easily, we will also have the opportunity to better connect with the global audience visiting the arena.”

“This payment solution will allow Chinese visitors to move seamlessly across the arena, so that they never miss an exciting moment inside the stadium,” added Yulei Wang, general manager of Alipay North America.