Miami-Dade County has sought a federal bankruptcy court for urgent approval to terminate its naming rights agreement with FTX and remove the company’s logo from the arena where the NBA’s Miami Heat play.
The county, which owns the arena and negotiated the naming rights arrangement with FTX, said in a petition filed on Tuesday that continuing to refer to the structure as FTX Arena would only exacerbate the “enduring suffering” caused by the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange.
“It does not seem that the Debtor would be harmed if the Naming Rights Agreement is terminated,” “The county’s motion included text. “However, Miami-Dade County continues to provide important marquee naming rights and other advantages to the Debtor, impeding the County’s ability to find a new naming partner for the Arena.”
Hearings are scheduled for mid-December. FTX signage remains on the building for the time being, and its name has not been altered.
The move made on Tuesday was not unexpected. The county and the Heat started the process of ending their contract with FTX on November 11, the same day the firm filed for bankruptcy.
The fall of FTX has several connections to the world of sports. Last week, many players, including quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and Heat big Udonis Haslem were listed as defendants in a class-action lawsuit against FTX. The lawsuit asserts that their celebrity position rendered them responsible for promoting the company’s unsuccessful business plan.
FTX embarked on a number of additional sports-related agreements, including a partnership with Mercedes for Formula One racing and a sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball, whose umpires wore the company’s emblem during the previous season. Mercedes has previously removed the FTX insignia from their racing cars.
Since June 2021, the facility in Miami had been known as FTX Arena, and a 19-year, $135 million sponsorship relationship between FTX and the county was just beginning. The next payment due from FTX to the county is $5,500,000 on January 1.
As part of the agreement, the Heat would earn $2 million every year.
FTX was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, however, it filed for bankruptcy after incurring losses totaling billions of dollars. State and federal officials are investigating the Bahamas-based firm and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, for allegedly investing depositors’ assets in unapproved enterprises.