Miami HEAT Arena Balks at FTX Naming Rights, Ending 19-Year Deal Early
Hell hath no fury like a professional basketball team scorned.
Mere hours after FTX filed for bankruptcy, the Miami HEAT and Miami-Dade County issued a joint statement announcing they were cutting ties with the now-disgraced Bahamas-based crypto exchange – effective immediately.
Photos circulating on social media already purport to show FTX’s logo being dismantled from the top of the arena. The 19-year contract cost FTX a whopping $135 million.
“The reports about FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing. Miami-Dade County and the Miami HEAT are immediately taking action to terminate our business relationships with FTX, and we will be working together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena,” a press statement issued Friday reads.
Once one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX was brought to its knees this week after a liquidity crisis triggered a domino effect resulting in the entire portfolio of companies, including the exchange’s U.S. subsidiary, FTX US, and Alameda Research, its quant trading firm, declaring bankruptcy. The entire portfolio of companies are now reportedly between $10-50 billion in the red.
The collapse of FTX has already triggered a ripple effect of consequences across the crypto industry and beyond – including in the city of Miami. Under the leadership of crypto-friendly Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami has attempted to establish itself as a crypto hub, welcoming crypto businesses, including FTX, to set up shop in Florida.
In September, FTX announced that it would be moving its U.S. headquarters from Chicago to Miami, and advertised its sleek new office space on Twitter.
A video posted by FTX showing off the unfurnished office was published just one day before news broke that the company was facing liquidity issues.