The Miami Heat will no longer play at FTX Arena after a federal bankruptcy judge retroactively ended Miami-Dade County’s naming rights agreement with the cryptocurrency company.
The two sides originally agreed to a 19-year, $135 million deal to change the name of the building from American Airlines Arena to FTX Arena in 2021. But following the collapse of FTX and the subsequent trials and hearings revolving around the company and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the team and the county requested to be let out of the arrangement in November.
“The reports about 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 immediately taking action to terminate our business with FTX, and we will be working together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena.”
That request was officially approved Wednesday, and all signage of FTX will be removed from the arena. The Heat announced on Friday that the arena will be called Miami-Dade Arena until a new naming-rights partner is found.
“Effective immediately, Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat have agreed that until such time as there is a new naming rights partner, to refer to the arena as Miami-Dade Arena,” a Heat statement reads.
The statement arrived a day after the Heat and the county released a statement saying they’re working “aggressively to identify a new naming rights partner.”
Tom Brady, Steph Curry among celebrities embroiled in FTX controversy
The FTX scandal spans multiple industries and has affected the sports world more than just where the Heat play their home games.
Stars like Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Golden State Warriors star Stepenh Curry could be facing potential violations after they appeared in various FTX advertisements prior to its collapse. Investors have also reportedly sued many of FTX’s celebrity endorsers such as Brady, Curry and tennis star Naomi Osaka. Court documents later showed Brady, his ex-wife Gisele Bündchen and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft owned significant shares in the now-bankrupt company.
Lakers, Clippers also play at a cryptocurrency-named arena
The Heat aren’t the only team to take crypto money.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers renamed their home arena from the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena around the same time the Heat switched to FTX Arena in 2021. That deal is for 20 years and $700 million.