The home of the Miami Heat has yet another name: Miami-Dade Arena.
That will be the temporary name of the building where the NBA team plays its home games while the search for a more permanent naming rights partner begins.
Heat and Miami-Dade County announced the new name on Friday, two days after a bankruptcy court ended the county’s naming-rights deal with embattled cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
A county official had said earlier in the week that it would be referred to as “the Arena,” though those plans quickly changed.
“Effective immediately, Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat have agreed that, until a new naming rights partner is in place, the arena will be referred to as the Miami-Dade Arena,” the parties said in a statement. joint statement. “Removal of the facility’s existing signage and rebranding will continue over the coming weeks.”
The process of removing the FTX brand from all aspects of the arena will take some time.
The company’s logo appears on the field, it’s on many of the entrances, it’s embroidered on the shirts of many safety gear and inside the game, it’s on the roof of the arena, and it was even placed on the cards that employees use to access the facility.
The county asked to end the naming rights deal in November, saying at the time that continuing to refer to the building as FTX Arena would only add to the “anticipated difficulties” caused by the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange.
The county owns the arena and negotiated a 19-year, $135 million naming rights deal with FTX.
The Heat — who have played in the building since Jan. 2, 2000 — were to receive $2 million annually as part of that deal, which went into effect in June 2021. The county and the Heat say they will work together to find a new one name partners.
Prior to the FTX deal, the building had been referred to as the AmericanAirlines Arena since its opening in 1999.
The Miami-based airline giant said in 2019 that it would not renew the agreement beyond the January 1, 2020, expiration date. The airline’s name remained on the building until 2021.
FTX was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, though it ended up with billions of dollars in losses — estimates range from $8 billion to $10 billion — before seeking bankruptcy protection after a spectacular crash that lasted just a few days.
Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested last month in the Bahamas and extradited to the US to face criminal charges in what US Attorney Damian Williams called “one of the biggest frauds in American history”.
Bankman-Fried has been released on bond and is scheduled to go on trial in October. He has pleaded not guilty.
With pole cables