Jan 6, 2023 - News

FTX seeks to cancel Miami Heat arena deal

A sign saying FTX is above glass doors at the Miami Heat's arena

FTX Arena. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX says it wants out of the $135 million deal giving it naming rights to the arena where the Miami Heat play.

Driving the news: FTX's lawyers filed a motion last week seeking to end its 19-year naming rights agreement with Miami-Dade County, which owns the stadium, along with more than 20 other marketing deals, the Miami Herald reports.

Why it matters: The new filing means that both sides now want the agreement canceled, per the Herald.

  • Miami-Dade County asked the judge in FTX's bankruptcy case to terminate the deal in November so it could be free to find a new sponsor.

Zoom out: FTX had committed millions of dollars to celebrities like supermodel Gisele Bündchen and even the Golden State Warriors and Major League Baseball for sponsorships, partnerships and other marketing deals.

  • The company wants its deals canceled retroactively to Dec. 31.

Zoom in: FTX has already paid Miami-Dade County $20 million. The company is due to pay the county $5.5 million this month.

  • It remains to be seen whether the county will fight for the payout.

The intrigue: Someone projected the words "F--k SBF" — an acronym used for disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried — and "Where is my money Sam" in lights on the side of the arena on New Year's Day, according to an Instagram post from Miami documentary filmmaker Billy Corben.


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