NBA-Miami Heat arena to drop FTX name after bankruptcy filing

(Reuters) - The Miami Heat's home arena will no longer be named for crypto exchange FTX after it filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection on Friday, and the basketball team said it was looking for a new naming sponsor for the building.

FTX and about 130 of its companies entered voluntary bankruptcy proceedings in an abrupt fall from grace for a company that was once a darling of the crypto industry.

In March 2021, FTX acquired the naming rights to the bayside arena for $135 million over 19 years.

"The reports about FTX and its affiliates are extremely disappointing," the Heat said in a 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 area."

The team said it was also looking for a new partner for its anti-gun violence initiative, the Peace and Prosperity Plan, which was funded through the original deal.

"We are proud of the impact our Peace and Prosperity Plan... is already having in preventing violence and creating opportunity for young people across Miami-Dade," the Heat said.

The NBA's Stephen Curry, the NFL's Tom Brady and tennis star Naomi Osaka are among the celebrity athletes who have partnerships with FTX.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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