Heat to rename home arena after ending relationship with FTX

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FTX Arena, the home of the Miami Heat, will soon have a new name after the team and Miami-Dade County terminated their relationship with the cryptocurrency exchange Friday.

FTX filed for bankruptcy earlier Friday after a week of tumult for the exchange and what has been the crypto equivalent to a bank run. 

It was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world at the beginning of the week, and its CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has resigned.

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A view of FTX Arena as fans arrive prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks April 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The reports about FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing" the team and Miami-Dade County said in a joint statement. "Miami-Dade County and the Miami Heat are immediately taking action to terminate our business relationships with FTX, and we will be working together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena."

Miami-Dade County owns the arena and negotiated the naming rights to the venue. The two sides agreed on a 19-year, $135 million agreement in June 2021.

FTX got involved with many sports leagues and athletes. It had a deal with Mercedes for Formula One racing and a sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball. Mercedes also said Friday it would remove all FTX logos from its Formula One cars. Tom Brady and Stephen Curry also had deals with the exchange.

Bankman-Fried reportedly has had his net worth reduced from $30 billion to $15 billion.

A view of FTX Arena prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks April 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images / Getty Images)

FTX'S SAM BANKMAN-FRIED SAYS SORRY

The Heat were slated to make $2 million per year as part of the agreement, while a majority of the remaining revenue from the deal would go to the county in efforts to fight gun violence and poverty.

"We are proud of the impact our Peace & Prosperity Plan — sponsored by County Commissioner Keon Hardemon and funded through the original deal — is already having in preventing violence and creating opportunity for young people across Miami-Dade, and we look forward to identifying a new partner to continue funding these important programs in the years ahead," the statement said.

A view of FTX Arena as fans arrive for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks April 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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The arena had previously been named American Airlines Arena since 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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