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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Heat Ends Arena Deal With FTX Arena After Crypto Company Collapse

FTX Arena no longer exists.

The Miami Heat announced Friday night that it was ending its relationship with the cryptocurrency company after it filed for bankruptcy this week. It is now looking for a new naming rights partner for the arena.

“Reports regarding FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing,” the Heat said in a joint statement with Miami-Dade County. “Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat are taking immediate action to end our business with FTX, and we will work together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena.”

It’s unclear when the Heat will officially go through the process of renaming the arena or what it will be called.

What happened to FTX?

FTX bought the naming rights to Heat Stadium last year in a massive 19-year, $135 million deal. It was just one of several notable sports deals FTX made recently. MLB umpires wore an FTX patch on their uniforms last season, and several big 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 based in the Bahamas and is run by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried. The company ran into trouble this month after Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it would be selling all of its FTT tokens, which are the native cryptocurrency tokens used by FTX. That move came after it was revealed that the Bankman-Fried hedge fund held a large amount of FTT tokens despite the two companies allegedly being separate.

The Binance sale then crashed the price of FTT and prompted others to try and get their money out of FTX. According to The New York Times, the company received around $6 billion in requested withdrawals over three days, something it had trouble processing.

The company then filed for bankruptcy after Binance pulled out of a deal to acquire FTX.

The other notable crypto arena in the world of sports is located across the country in Los Angeles. Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the stadium formerly known as Staples Center last year in a $700 million deal, believed to be the largest in US history. Singapore-based Crypto.com is the fourth largest exchange in the world, according to Forbes.

The Miami Heat will change the name of FTX Arena after the collapse of the company this week. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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