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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Miami-Dade Wins Approval to Ditch FTX Deal for Heat’s Arena

  • The arena will be known as Miami-Dade Arena until a new naming rights sponsor is found.
  • Bankruptcy judge lifted stay that prevented Miami-Dade County from moving on from FTX.
FTX logo on Miami Heat's court
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This story was updated on Jan. 13.

A federal bankruptcy judge cleared the way for FTX branding to be removed from the Miami Heat’s home arena in a Wednesday ruling.

Miami-Dade County, the arena owner, was prevented from rebranding or seeking a new sponsor for the venue since there was an automatic stay in place after FTX sought bankruptcy protection in November.

Two says after judge John T. Dorsey agreed to lift the stay at the request of Miami-Dade County attorneys, the county and Heat announced the interim name for the venue.

“Effective immediately, Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat have agreed that, until such time as there is a new naming rights partner, to refer to the arena as Miami-Dade Arena,” the statement to Front Office Sports on Friday read. “The removal of the facility’s existing signage and the changeover of branding elements will be ongoing in the coming weeks. =

The county was about 18 months into a 19-year deal that was supposed to pay out $135 million total. Instead, the county received about $20 million, and is again looking for a new venue sponsor.

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FTX attorney Andrew Dietderich said in court on Wednesday that the new management of FTX has recovered more than $5 billion in cash and crypto assets, according to the Washington Post

On Jan. 3, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight federal courts related to an alleged scheme in which he illegally funneled customer deposits to Alameda Research, an investment firm that Bankman-Fried controlled. 

“We know what Alameda did with the money,” Dietderich said per the newspaper. “It bought planes, houses, threw parties, made political donations. It made personal loans to its founders. It sponsored the FTX Arena in Miami, a Formula 1 team, the League of Legends, Coachella and many other businesses, events and personalities.”

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