The Miami-Dade County Commission has approved the $135 million deal that gives the FTX digital currency exchange the right to sponsor and rename the Miami Heat Arena to FTX Arena in a 10-1 vote.
This marks the very first instance of a digital currency enterprise becoming the lead sponsor of a sports arena in the United States.
— Hatzel Vela (@HatzelVelaWPLG) March 26, 2021
Where will the money go?
The $135 million deal entitles FTX Exchange to be the lead sponsor of what is currently known as the American Airlines Arena for the next 19 years. Over those 19 years, Miami-Dade county will receive roughly $90 million in net proceeds with $14 million being paid upfront.
A majority of the money that Miami-Dade county receives from the deal will be allocated by the mayor’s office, and the remaining 30% of the funds will be given to the 13 county commissioners who will then be responsible for distributing the funds in their jurisdictions.
In both instances, a majority of the money will be used to reduce gun violence.
“Over the lifetime of this partnership we will be able to invest in programs and solutions that will keep all of our communities safe,” said Miami-Dade county mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Why did one person vote no?
According to the Miami Herald,
“Commissioner René Garcia voted against the proposal, noting the legislation was only made public Thursday evening. “I want to show a united front. I really do,” he said. “But the way this was brought to the county commission was wrong.”
Garcia’s comments might suggest that the county commission did not have much time to evaluate the deal before making a decision.
Jimmy Morales, the county’s chief operations officer, also voiced that Miami-Dade county is entering uncharted territory by approving the deal.
“We of course recognize there is risk in this deal, particularly with a relatively new company in a relatively new industry,” said Morales. “ [But] the payments to the county will be in U.S. currency, not in Bitcoin.”
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