Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat are wrapping up their sand name rights deal with the bankrupt cryptocurrency firm FTX.
The county, which owns the sand, signed a $135 million 19-year deal for the name of the Heat Bay homecourt in 2021. After an initial payment of $14 million, the FTX was scheduled to make a payment of $5.5 million in January.
The arena will remain technically called FTX Arena for Saturday’s match between the Heat and Charlotte Hornets, but the signal and name will soon fall.
“Reports on the FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing,” the county and the team said in a joint statement. “Miami-Dade County and the Miami HEAT are taking immediate steps to end our business relationship with FTX. We will work together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena.”
It is unclear when the Heat will officially go through the renaming process of the arena or what it will be called.
What happened to FTX?
FTX bought the naming rights for the Heat Arena last year in a massive 19-year, $135 million deal. This was just one of many sports deals FTX has made recently. MLB referees wore an FTX patch on their uniforms last season, and several major names in the sports world were seen in commercials and partnerships.
FTX is the fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, according to Forbes. The company is headquartered in the Bahamas and is run by Sam Bankman-Fried, 30. The company was in trouble this month after Bance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange — announced that it would sell all of its FTT tokens — which are the original uses of FTX cryptocurrency. This move came after it was revealed that the Bankman-Fried hedge fund held a large amount of FTT tokens despite the alleged separation of the two companies.
The sale of the Bank then flooded the price of the TTS and prompted others to try to withdraw money from the TTS. According to The New York Times, the company received about $6 billion in requested withdrawals in three days—which it was trying to process.
The company filed for bankruptcy after Banner gave up an FTX acquisition deal.
Another famous crypto arena in the world of sports sits across the country in Los Angeles. Crypto.com acquired rights to the arena’s name formerly known as Staples Center last year at $700 million, which is believed to be the largest in United States history. Singapore-based Crypto.com is the fourth largest exchange in the world, according to Forbes.