Florida judge stripped fallen cryptocurrency exchange ftx of its naming rights to the home of the miami heat on wednesday, involving miami-dade county, ftx, and its former ceo sam bankman-fried. the $213 million, 18,000-seat facility opened in 1999 as american airlines arena and in march 2021, bankman-fried signed a 19-year contract with miami-dade, the arena’s owners, for a $135 million naming rights deal. the deal provided miami-dade county with $2 million a year and raised eyebrows in the industry due to its dollar amount and the fact that ftx was only two years old at the time.
Deal was finalized on wednesday, december 31, 2022, and the ruling was made retroactive to that date. the order finalized the parties’ separation, allowing the owners of the miami heat arena to look for new bidders and partnerships on the building. funds from alameda research funded the deal with miami-dade county, and miami-dade will have to decide what the county will do with money already received by ftx in the deal or turn the money over to the bankruptcy court overseeing the ftx case.
Naming rights deal was a popular move for crypto companies before the onset of the 2022 crypto winter and rival cryptocurrency exchange, crypto.com, signed a deal worth $700 million with the owners of the then staples center, the home of the los angeles lakers and clippers. legal analyst david weinstein told local 10 news that the short-term goal of the parties involved is that it will no longer be the ftx arena. remedies might be available under the contract to recover lost money. the deal was made due to the “phenomenal year” for the crypto industry and ftx in particular, as bankman-fried told decrypt during an interview on the gm podcast.