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FTX Arena Deal Spurs Miami-Dade Warning About Need to Pay Up

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 11/10/2022 Felipe Marques

(Bloomberg) -- Miami-Dade County will explore “all legal remedies” if FTX.com, the beleaguered crypto exchange, can’t meet its obligations as part of a 19-year agreement for naming rights to the arena where the NBA’s Miami Heat play.

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Miami-Dade “is currently reviewing and gathering information about FTX’s financial situation and possible next steps,” a spokesman for the county, which negotiated the transaction, said in an emailed statement.

FTX, the crypto exchange led by Sam Bankman-Fried, inked a transaction last year to take over naming rights for the arena in downtown Miami from American Airlines Group Inc. Under terms disclosed at the time, Miami-Dade would receive a net $90 million over 19 years to invest in programs including reducing gun violence. FTX had also committed an extra $5 million to the local community, according to a statement released at the time.

FTX arena miami heat © Photographer: Eric Espada/Getty Images FTX arena miami heat

It was only last month that the FTX logo was placed on the arena’s roof. The Bahamas-based firm is now in the midst of a liquidity crunch that Bankman-Fried has said could force it into bankruptcy without a capital infusion.

The Miami arena is just one of FTX’s many sports deals. Major League Baseball umpires wear patches with the company’s logo as part of a sponsorship agreement, and FTX has a long-term partnership with Formula 1 racing team Mercedes-AMG Petronas.

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