Heat may have first pro U.S. sports venue named after cryptocurrency exchange
MIAMI, March 24 (UPI) — The Miami Heat are expected to become the first U.S. professional sports team to have a venue named after a cryptocurrency exchange, according to a naming-rights agreement between Miami-Dade County and FTX.
The county said Tuesday in a news release that it agreed to a 19-year partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange to change the name of the Heat’s home venue from AmericanAirlines Arena to FTX Arena.
FTX allows customers to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and other forms of cryptocurrency.
The agreement must be approved by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the NBA. County commissioners are expected to vote on the deal at a special meeting Friday in Miami.
“We are proud to announce this great new naming rights partnership for the arena, and look forward to bringing it before the [county commissioners] for approval,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in the news release.
“Ensuring that we identified the best possible deal for the county and safeguarding the public’s finances were my top priorities throughout this process.
“This partnership, which will earn the county nearly $90 million over 19 years, will have positive impact across our community, and we are glad to find a partner in FTX ready to invest in Miami-Dade.”
FTX also committed an additional $5 million in contributions to the county beyond the naming rights agreement.
American Airlines has held the arena’s naming rights since 1999. The airline company announced in 2019 that it would not renew its naming-rights contract, but the name has remained associated with the arena on an interim basis.