Cryptocurrency

Heat ending arena deal with FTX Arena after cryptocurrency company’s collapse

FTX Arena is no more.

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

“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.”

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 purchased the naming rights for the Heat arena 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 headquartered in the Bahamas and run by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried. The company ran into trouble this month after Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world — announced it was going to sell all of its FTT tokens — which are the native cryptocurrency token FTX uses. That move came after it was revealed that Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund held a large amount of FTT tokens despite the two businesses being supposedly separate.

Binance’s sale then tanked the price of FTT and prompted others to try and pull their money out of FTX. According to The New York Times, the company saw about $6 billion in requested withdrawals over three days — something it struggled to process.

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

The other notable crypto arena in the sports world sits across the country in Los Angeles. Crypto.com purchased the naming rights to the arena formerly known as Staples Center last year in a $700 million deal, which is believed to be the largest in United States history. Crypto.com, which is based in Singapore, is the fourth-biggest exchange in the world, per Forbes.

An exterior view of the Miami Heat's FTX Arena

The Miami Heat are going to rename FTX Arena after the company’s collapse this week. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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