Crypto exchange to name NBA stadium in $135M deal, replacing American Airlines

A basketball stadium with crypto exchange FTX logo on it to show that they're going to sponsor an NBA stadium.

Crypto exchange FTX will brand the home stadium of NBA team Miami Heat for the next 19 years in a deal worth $135 million, reports Miami Herald (via NBCMiami).

Miami county commissioners will vote on the deal on Friday. If it passes, Miami’s basketball stadium will be renamed to FTX Arena until at least 2040, replacing the American Airlines Arena moniker which stood since 1999.

American Airlines initially bought the naming rights for $42 million ($69 million adjusted for inflation), but walked away from the deal two years early.

Founded in 2018, FTX is the 12th biggest crypto exchange by daily volume, processing around half a billion dollars worth of spot trades daily.

But FTX also serves as the fourth largest crypto derivatives market, with support for margin trade and investment products like perpetual futures contracts.

[Read more: Tokenized Coinbase stock trades nearly 20% above private Nasdaq sales]

In fact, Miami-Dade County — which controls the naming rights of the stadium — is no doubt eager to get its hands on FTX’s money.

Miami-Dade has so far failed to secure a new sponsor after American Airlines said it was no longer interested in branding the arena in 2019.

This left the county itself responsible for $2 million worth of fees per year owed to the stadium, a bill that to date remains outstanding.

But the stadium wasn’t without potential suitors. Porn studio Bang Bros actually expressed interest in the naming rights two years ago and offered $10 million as part of a months-long PR stunt.

In any case, after outstanding expenses and fees are paid to Miami Heat, Miami-Dade stands to see much more from FTX.

A press release notes the county anticipates $90 million flowing into its coffers over the next 19 years as a result of the deal.

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