SBD/April 29, 2014/Facilities

Naming-Rights Value Could Play Key Role In Heat's Plan To Extend Lease With Miami-Dade

AmericanAirlines Arena's current naming-rights deal ends in '20
The future value of the Heat’s naming-rights deal could "end up an important factor" in whether Owner Micky Arison can "succeed in winning a 10-year extension on the team’s lease" at the Miami-Dade County-owned AmericanAirlines Arena, according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Under a proposed deal that "became public last week, Miami-Dade would give up its current claim" to any naming-rights revenue above $2M annually as "part of a larger reworking of the existing deal," which expires in '30. AAL’s current naming-rights deal ends in '20. That would give the Heat a "chance to reset the arena’s naming revenue to a market that’s currently generating millions more for many NBA teams." Sponsorship firm Team Services co-Founder & Partner E.J. Narcise said AAL's $2.1M yearly sponsorship for the Heat’s venue “was a pretty decent deal when it was done. Now it’s definitely at the lower end of NBA arenas.” While Miami-Dade "pays the Heat" $6.4M a year now, the payouts under the proposed deal would increase to an average of $14.7M per year from '31-'40. The deal also would "extend by a decade the day that the Heat would be free to move to either another city or make the case for a new or overhauled county-owned arena." Meanwhile, as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is "pushing back against more taxpayer support of the arena," he said that he is "fine with giving up future naming-rights money." Arison’s negotiators have "presented the team’s request to take back the naming rights as a concession, saying the county would be hard pressed to win top dollar for the arena’s name without the Heat also contributing suites, floor seats, television spots and other perks that accompany most rights deals" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/29).
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