Following the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, the FTX Arena has rebranded to ‘Miami-Dade Arena’ for now.
The Miami Heat NBA team and the Miami-Dade County made a joint decision to rebrand the arena to distance itself from any “enduring hardships” as the collapse weaves its way through bankruptcy court. FTX secured a 19-year $135 million deal for the naming rights to the Arena. The Miami Heat were to receive $2 million annually as part of that deal. Now both the NBA and the county are working together to find a new naming rights partner.
“Effective immediately, Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat have agreed that, until such a time as there is a new naming rights partner, to refer to the arena as Miami-Dade Arena,” both parties announced in a joint statement. “The removal of the facility’s existing signage and the changeover of branding elements will be ongoing in the coming weeks.”
“Miami-Dade County and the Miami HEAT will now work aggressively to identify a new naming rights partner for the arena. We look forward to identifying a new partner to continue funding these and other new critical programs in the years ahead,” the statement continues. Miami-Dade County began the search for a new naming rights partner back in November after the deal was terminated.
Before the renaming, the building was called the American Airlines Arena since its opening in 1999. In 2019, American Airlines chose not to renew its ongoing deal with the Arena, prompting a bidding war for the new rights. FTX ultimately won out, but now both the Miami Heat and county have egg on their face as the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed.
It’s 30-year-old founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was arrested in the Bahamas in December and extradited to the United States to face criminal charges. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has called the incident “one of the biggest frauds in American history.”