The American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, home of the Miami Heat NBA basketball team and home to major concerts and cultural events in the city, will be renamed FTX Arena thanks to an agreement reached between Miami-Dade County and cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX.
“We are proud to announce this great new naming rights partnership for the Arena, and we look forward to presenting it to the BCC (Board of County Commissioners) for approval,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday in a statement.
The alderwoman of Florida’s most populous county affirmed that “safeguarding public finances” are her “top priorities throughout this process” of the coliseum’s new sponsor.
“This partnership, which will net the County nearly $90 million over 19 years, will have a positive impact on our community and we are pleased to find a partner in FTX ready to invest in Miami-Dade,” she said.
Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, the platform where customers can exchange Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, said that for them this opportunity means more “than just putting our name on an iconic building.”
“It is an opportunity to bring value to the growing and diverse community of Miami and its surrounding cities, as well as to join a community of championships, an organization of championships and a culture of championships.”
According to the release, FTX also committed an additional $5 million in the deal, “beyond the scope of the naming rights partnership,” to help Miami-Dade residents thrive.
The Miami Herald newspaper reported, meanwhile, that the entire deal is worth $135 million and that while the county collects naming-rights revenue, it must pay the basketball team $2 million each year.
In November 2019, a spokeswoman for Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines said the company had opted not to renew the sponsorship deal that expired in 2020.
The airline had maintained the sponsorship since the popular 21,000-seat, Byscaine Bay-front coliseum opened in 1999 as American Airlines Arena.