Report: Cryptocurrency company ‘getting closer’ to signing naming-rights deal for Miami Heat’s arena'
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The Miami Heat have played in AmericanAirlines Arena since 2000, but the name of the arena reportedly could change soon.

According to a recent report, a cryptocurrency company could become the new namesake of the Heat’s home arena.

“Miami-Dade County is getting closer to signing a cryptocurrency company to replace American Airlines as the naming-rights sponsor of the Miami Heat’s downtown arena, according to several sources — a deal that would deliver the NBA its first venue tied to bitcoin and other electronic currencies,” the Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks wrote.

“Sources identified the company as FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange with offices in Hong Kong and San Francisco. Internet breadcrumbs suggest FTX is ready to put its name on an event venue. In February, someone in Florida registered, and last month also brought FTX Arena accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

American Airlines purchased the naming rights of the arena back in 1999 for approximately $42 million over 20 years.

“Finding a new sponsor for the AmericanAirlines Arena has been an uphill climb for Miami-Dade, sparking tension with the Heat in recent months,” Hanks wrote.

“At the end of 2019, the county asked the Heat for a delay in paying $2 million owed in guaranteed naming-rights revenue in hopes of landing a sponsor that could cover the cost. Superlative was close to landing a California mortgage lender, Network Capital, as a naming-rights sponsor.”

However, the deal with Network Capital fell through. Now, it appears that Miami has finally found a new sponsor for the arena.

On the court, the Heat have been on a tear, winning nine of their last 10 games to catapult them into the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.