FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat, renamed Miami-Dade Arena

FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat, renamed Miami-Dade Arena

FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat, renamed Miami-Dade Arena

Miami-Dade wins right to remove FTX name from Heat Arena


Miami-Dade wins right to remove FTX name from Heat Arena

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FTX Arena, the South Florida sports stadium that the NBA’s Miami Heat call home, will now be called Miami-Dade Arena, the team announced Friday.

The change comes just days after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey ruled in favor of Miami-Dade County, which requested that FTX’s name be removed from the stadium following the sudden collapse of the cryptocurrency trading company. Termination of the naming rights agreement between FTX Trading, which declared bankruptcy in November, and Florida County “will take effect immediately upon the entry of this ordinance,” Dorsey wrote in its decision.

The heat tweeted its new arena name and said the removal of FTX branding “will be ongoing in the coming weeks.”

Clearing the FTX name from the huge multi-purpose hall will take time. The arena bears the FTX branding on its roof, courtyard and hallway entrances, as well as on the polo shirts worn by security personnel and the electronic cards used to gain access to the building.

Miami-Dade County officials called for an end to its FTX naming rights deal in November, saying at the time that continuing to refer to the building as FTX Arena would only add to “ongoing difficulties “caused by the crypto exchange collapse.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who resigned as CEO in November, appeared in court in recent weeks after federal prosecutors charged him with money laundering and fraud. Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried defrauded clients by using their crypto funds to pay debts and expenses incurred by FTX hedge fund Alameda Research. He was released on bail and is expected to go to trial in October.


Miami-Dade demands right to remove FTX name from Heat Arena

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Anthony Sabino, a bankruptcy expert and professor of law at St. John’s University, said the FTX case shows local governments need to be careful when selecting a company for building naming rights.

“There is no doubt that the owners of the Miami site will have no trouble finding a suitable naming rights partner, but their recent setbacks with FTX rightly demonstrate that selling the naming rights to a sports site seems fun, until things start to go downhill,”

In 2021, Miami-Dade officials negotiated what was to be a 19-year, $135 million naming rights pact with FTX. Under the deal, which took effect in June 2021, the Miami Heat were to receive $2 million per year. FTX was scheduled to make its next $5.5 million payment to the county on Jan. 1.

—With Associated Press reporting

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