FTX Arena We Hardly Knew Ye

Miami needs a new name for its arena.

It is back to square one in Miami for elected officials in finding a naming rights sponsor for the city’s arena. The building is the home of the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat. On January 12th, Federal Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey allowed Miami-Dade County to remove all FTX signage and advertising from the venue. In March 2021, someone connected with Miami-Dade County, Florida thought a deal to sell the naming rights of the arena to the cryptocurrency company FTX was so good almost too good to be true, that it had to be signed. It ended up being a 19-year, $135 million deal with Miami-Dade County receiving $97 million and the basketball franchise getting $38 million over the life of the deal. FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11th and Miami Dade County has been left holding the bag. Miami-Dade County requested that a federal bankruptcy court allow them to terminate its naming rights agreement with FTX and remove the brand’s logo from the arena.

Getting a naming rights partner for the city-owned building has not been an easy task and Miami worked out a deal with Heat ownership where it is possible the city gets the lion’s share of the naming rights fee. In 2018, Miami-Dade County took over the naming rights to the arena and capped the amount of money the Heat franchise could get from slapping a name on the building to $2 million annually. It was a struggle for Miami-Dade to find the right marketing partner. Gregg Berger, the owner of the Miami and Pompano Beach Booby Trap South Florida strip club made a $5 million offer to rename the venue “Booby Trap Arena.” That was turned down. The owners of the porn site BangBros  could re-submitting a $10 million offer for the naming rights to the arena. Someone will get the naming rights one day.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191

Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com