By Amanda Gonzalez Garcia
Insolvency and misuse of customer funds were the actions that made Miami-Dade County terminate all business relationships with FTX. Now, a new naming rights partner is on the search.
Ask any Miamian and they still called the FTX Arena the American Airlines Arena located in Downtown Miami. But, on Jan. 13, the name which the arena wore for barely a year and a half was stripped and renamed — the Miami-Dade Arena.
The FTX founder who stepped down last November is Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried has been no stranger to the courtroom as he is currently being charged with money laundering and fraud by federal prosecutors, according to CBS News.
The name was stripped due to a United States Federal Bankruptcy court.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John T. Dorsey wrote, per the NBA website, that terminating the rights deal would go into immediate effect.
Additionally, per the NBA website, "the county owns the arena and negotiated what was to be a 19-year, $135 million naming rights deal with FTX.”
This was June of 2021.
The Miami Heat were also to receive $2 million annually as part of the naming deal.
The now Miami-Dade Arena is home to concerts from artists, basketball games from our Miami Heat, and so much more. After this change, the arena has taken measures to en- sure that the rebranding is done in a rather fast paced manner until a naming rights partner is announced.
The rebranding includes changing employee uniforms, signage, floor decals, and so forth.
The current name serves as a placeholder for the moment, and the future of this arena is unpredictable.
But this trend of renaming is not recent as many other venues have started in renaming rights battles. Even then, city officials have expressed an interest in new currencies like crypto and bitcoin.
City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez has pushed forward many initiatives to reinvent and make Miami “...the most tech friendly cities in America,” according to CNBC.
Just like the FTX, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, known as the Staples Center, also underwent a name change in 2021 to Crypto.com Arena which marked a new era in digital currency giants laying claim on physical properties.
Assistant Professor of Finance Dr. Jurica Susnjara shared with The Buccaneer a theory behind the FTX collapse.
“Investment in crypto is still more a speculation than proper investment. That's not to say that speculation is necessarily wrong. But a famous investor called Benjamin Graham once said, "People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers." There is some truth in that,” he said.
While there may be some uncertain ties in the future, the Miami spirit will never be derailed.