A federal bankruptcy judge terminated the naming rights agreement between FTX and Miami-Dade County on Wednesday. The judge ruled that all mentions of the FTX brand will be stripped from the Heat’s home arena.
The termination, “shall be effective immediately upon entry of this order,” US Bankruptcy Judge John T. Dorsey wrote. Miami-Dade requested to end the naming rights deal in November, following the now-bankrupt crypto exchange’s collapse.
The county is said to be “aggressively” shopping for a new naming rights partner, but until it closes a new deal, the placeholder name for the venue will be “the Arena.”
The deal with FTX entailed extensive branding of the Arena. The name of the disgraced crypto exchange can be found practically everywhere: from the main entrance, to the top of the roof, the basketball court, on the uniforms of security personnel, down to the badges employees use to move around the venue.
Miami-Dade has not announced when it will begin the process of physically removing all FTX branding around the Arena, but it is expected to start very soon, considering the circumstances.
In 2021, FTX and the county had agreed on what was supposed to be a $135 million naming rights deal that would span 19 years. The fallen crypto exchange was supposed to make a $5.5 million payment at the start of the year, and the Heat was supposed to receive $2 million annually as part of the deal.
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