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CITY OF MIAMI LOOKING TO GET INTO THE ARENA BUSINESS

     The city of Miami is talking about spending $10M to buy back
control of the Miami Arena, according to the MIAMI HERALD.  The
rights to control operations and negotiate contracts belong
Decoma Miami Associates, of which Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga
owns 60%.  Huizenga also owns half of Leisure Management
International, a Decoma-related company that handles day-today
operations.  Leisure Management is now negotiating with Heat
Owner Micky Arison, who wants two more years in the arena with
close to the same favorable terms he enjoys now.  The Heat have
said the team will move if they don't have a lease with new terms
by the end of the '97-98 season.  The Heat's requested terms
include only a 10% increase in their rent to $600,000 per season.
Leisure Management wants an estimated $3-5M more over the two-
year extension.  City officials figure by buying back control of
the arena, they can give the Heat the lease they want, and ensure
the team stays through 2000.  This will also buy time for the
city to build a new arena after the Heat's lease expires.  City
leaders admit the move is risky, because the Heat could still
move after 2000 and the city would be left with an arena nobody
wants to play in.  Leisure Management President John Blaisdell
said he is willing to talk to the city about selling the
company's interest in the arena, but he said the city should
insist on a long-term lease for the Heat before trying to buy.
Blaisdell says the two-year extension only gives Arison more time
to negotiate with other cities (Cavanaugh & Tanfani, MIAMI
HERALD, 12/18).
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Facilities, Miami Heat

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