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Goodbye, FLA Live: Florida Panthers Have New Name for Arena

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Amerant Bank, based in Coral Gables, is about to become the new naming sponsor of the Florida Panthers’ arena in Sunrise. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

The Florida Panthers will apparently have a new name on their Sunrise arena this coming season after using the temporary FLA Live name since 2021.

Once again, the arena’s corporate naming rights will go to a financial institution.

According to a photo of ice being put down which was posted on Facebook, the Sunrise venue will be called Amerant Bank Arena.

The Panthers did not comment on this report but an official announcement is expected this week as the deal may not be finalized.

Financial terms are not known.

Amerant Bank, headquartered in Coral Gables, already has an extensive partnership with the Panthers as the team’s official bank.

The bank also has its name on the team’s luxury club on the 100 level of the arena and its name on the team’s helmets.

Along with the Panthers, Amerant also has sponsorship deals with the Heat, Hurricanes and Rice University in Houston where the bank also has a presence.

This will be the sixth name for the arena — not counting Broward County Civic Center which was its name while under construction — including third with a financial institution.

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The entrance to the Amerant Vault outside the soon-to-be former FLA Live Arena on Sunday morning. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

In 2005, Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic took over naming rights for the arena which lasted until it was taken over by BB&T. The Panthers played at the BB&T Center from 2012-21.

When BB&T and SunTrust merged and created Truist, the banking giant and the Panthers parted ways with the team going with the temporary name until a new sponsor could be found.

The Panthers were the last professional organization looking for a corporate sponsor in South Florida after the Marlins secured loanDepot and Inter Miami made a deal with AutoNation.

Naming rights deals for arenas are very lucrative for professional sports teams.

The 10-year deal the Panthers signed with BankAtlantic in 2005 was reportedly worth $20 million and this one is most likely in the 3-5 year range around $3 million annually.  

For comparison, the New York Islanders signed a deal with investment bank UBS for naming rights at Belmont Park for a reported $300 million over 20 years.

Panthers arena

The tunnel outside the main entrance to what will soon be known as the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

CNBC reported Intuit signed a 23-year agreement worth more than $500 million to put its name on the Los Angeles Clippers’ new arena in Inglewood.

Locally, the biggest sponsorship deal is for Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased the naming rights to the renovated facility for a reported $250 million in 2016.

NAMING HISTORY OF THE FLORIDA PANTHERS’ SUNRISE ARENA

Broward County Civic Center (construction)

National Car Rental Center 1998-2002

Office Depot Center 2002-05

BankAtlantic Center 2005-12

BB&T Center 2012-21

FLA Live Arena 2021-23

Amerant Bank Arena 2023-present

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

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