Get to know FTX: Miami Heat arena close to finalizing new name


MIAMI – AmericanAirlines Arena is about to be flying away for good.

The Miami Heat’s home arena on Biscayne Bay will be renamed FTX Arena, pending approval of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners at a special meeting Friday.

FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange where users can deal Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Miami-Dade County, which negotiated the agreement with FTX in coordination with the Heat, announced the agreement in principle of a 19-year partnership Tuesday.

The county is expected to get about $90 million over the 19 years after deducting payments to the Heat and other expenses. The Miami Herald reported the entire deal is worth $135 million and that the county collects the naming-rights revenue but must pay the team $2 million each year.

“Ensuring that we identified the best possible deal for the county and safeguarding the public’s finances were my top priorities throughout this process,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “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.”

The county says that FTX “will also collaborate with Miami-Dade County to support technology and Fintech education, financial wellness for residents, and other programs. FTX also committed an additional $5 million in contributions to the Miami-Dade community beyond the scope of the naming rights partnership over the course of the deal, to help Miami-Dade residents thrive.”

It was revealed in 2019 that American Airlines was relinquishing the naming rights to the arena. That brought many ideas about what name could be a fit for the Miami landmark, and even a bid from an adult website.

The arena, which opened at the end of 1999, also hosts concerts and other events, drawing nearly two million visitors per year according to the county.

“The entire FTX family is thrilled to partner with Miami-Dade County and the Heat,” FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a statement. “This opportunity is more than putting our name on an iconic building. It is a chance to provide value to the growing and diverse community in Miami and its surrounding cities, as well as join a championship community, a championship organization, and a championship culture.”