NationsBank has become the sponsor of the Blue Chip card, a smart card issued at the Kiel Center, where the St. Louis Blues hockey team plays.

The card, introduced last fall, was developed by Precis Smart Card Systems Inc., Gemplus Group, Verifone Inc., and Tangent Associates. For $25, fans could buy cards with $30 of stored value for purchasing food and other concessions.

"NationsBank has been a strong and longtime supporter of the Blues, and we are familiar with smart card technology in stadiums and arenas through our program with the Carolina Panthers" of the National Football League, said Dockery Clark, the bank's senior vice president of sports and event marketing.

NationsBank has been issuing the Panthers card since 1996.

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