A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday terminated a naming rights agreement between FTX and Miami-Dade County. This allows the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange’s brand to be removed from the stadium where the NBA Miami Heat plays.
The decision means that all FTX banners and advertisements in the stadium will soon be removed. There was no immediate word from the Miami Heat or the county when the removal process would begin.
However, removal will not be an easy task. The FTX brand is found on the roof of the court, on the basketball court, on many entrances, on T-shirts worn by security personnel, and even on electronic cards that employees use to enter the facility.
Written by Judge John T. Dorsey stated that the contract’s termination “will be effective immediately upon entry into this Order”.
The province requested termination of the naming rights contract in November, saying that continuing to refer to the building as the FTX Arena would only add to the “perpetual hardship” caused by the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange.
County owns the stadium and has negotiated a 19-year, $135 million contract with FTX. The Miami Heat was expected to receive $2 million annually as part of that deal, which went into effect in June 2021.
The next payment FTX owes to the county will be $5.5 million on January 1.
FTX was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world but ended up going bankrupt, leaving a loss of between $8 billion to $10 billion.
Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested last month in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States to face criminal charges in what US Attorney General Damian Williams called “one of the largest frauds in American history.” Bankman-Fried has been released on bail and is set to go to trial in October.