Miami Heat Stuck With ‘FTX Arena’ For Now, New Name In 2023

Home of the Miami Heat, FTX Arena
Home of the Miami Heat, FTX Arena

The Miami Heat are a bit bewildered at the moment.  The front office is confused about how their team is in the mix of the headlines, related to cryptocurrency.   Nonetheless, it has happened.   The NBA team signed off on an arena branding contract with Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto-exchange nearly one year ago.  Now, the Heat want to part ways with the brand and its founder’s reputation but cannot.

Miami previously announced it was changing the name of the Arena, leaving many fans to believe the transition would happen immediately.  A judge over FTX’s bankruptcy trial proceedings has prevented that.

FTX Arena Name Change Blocked By Stay Order

According to CryptoCoinOpps, a ‘stay order’ has been placed on all businesses related to FTX.    This halts any and all actions against FTX by any entity. Nor can anyone modify prior agreements with the crypto company.

The only option for the Miami Heat, is to wait for the county of Miami-Dade to file for ‘relief’ from the ‘stay’ order.      And they have filed to do so. A court hearing is slated for December 16th.

Miami-Dade vs FTX

If unaware, the city of Miami-Date is who has the contract with FTX, not the NBA league team.   FTX pays $7.1-Million per year to the Florida metropolis for exclusive rights to the arena’s brand name.

The official duration of the contract between Miami-Dade, Miami Heat, and FTX is 19 years.  Over that time period, Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange will have paid out $135-million-dollars.

SBF recently bragged to one cryptocurrency news site during an interview, saying FTX could pay the full amount off its first year, no problem.   This was before the disgraced crypto-exchange’s collapse however.

Relief from Stay Order; Earlier Name Change

Miami-Dade has filed for a court hearing on the matter, to expedite the arena’s renaming. On December 16th the tropical city will file a motion in court to get ‘relief’ from the FTX stay order.  If successful, it could allow the Miami Heat and Dade County to have a new contract in-line for a new arena name before the end of 2022.

Beyond the December 16th hearing and Heat’s readiness to leave the contract, FTX is still on the hook for $7.1-million-dollars per year. The next payment is due in January of 2023.  If this payment is missed, it could result in another legal filing from Miami-Dade County and the Heat organization.

As for now however, the Miami Heat are stuck hooping in a gym with a name that has left many people ‘burned,’ the FTX Arena.

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