Heat-ending arena deal with FTX Arena after cryptocurrency company’s collapse

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FTX Arena is no more.

The Miami Heat announced Friday night that it is ending its relationship with the cryptocurrency company after it filed for bankruptcy this week. It is now looking for a new naming rights partner for the arena.

“The reports about FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing,” the Heat said in a joint statement with Miami-Dade County. “Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat are taking immediate steps to end our business with FTX and we will work together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena.”

It is unclear when the Heat will officially go through the process of renaming the arena or what it will be called.

What happened to FTX?

FTX bought the naming rights to the Heat arena last year in a massive 19-year, $135 million deal. It was just one of several notable sports deals that FTX has made recently. MLB umpires wore an FTX patch on their uniforms last season, and several big names in the sports world were seen in commercials and partnerships.

FTX is the fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, according to Forbes, The company is headquartered in the Bahamas and is run by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried. The company ran into trouble this month after Binance – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world – announced that it would sell all of its FTT tokens – which is the original cryptocurrency token used by FTX. This move came after it was revealed that Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund held a large amount of FTT tokens despite the two companies being supposedly separate.

Binance’s sale then lowered the price of FTT and caused others to try to pull their money out of FTX. According to The New York Timesthe company saw about $6 billion in requested withdrawals over three days — something it struggled to process.

The company then filed for bankruptcy after Binance backed out of a deal to acquire FTX.

The other notable crypto arena in the sports world is located across the country in Los Angeles. Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the arena formerly known as Staples Center last year in a $700 million deal believed to be the largest in US history. Based in Singapore, Crypto.com is the fourth largest exchange in the world according to Forbes.

An exterior view of the Miami Heat's FTX Arena

The Miami Heat will rename FTX Arena after the company’s collapse this week. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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