Heat In Dispute With City Of Miami Over Ads For Kumho Tires On Trees Outside Arena
The Heat have wrapped the "trunks of 16 royal palms in front of the publicly owned AmericanAirlines Arena ... with ads for Kumho tires," despite the Miami Commission two weeks ago dismissing a measure "that could have allowed advertising banners to be placed on trees," according to Andres Viglucci of the MIAMI HERALD. City code enforcement officers prior to Game Five of the Heat-Knicks NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series last night "ordered the team to take down the white banners." The signs "carry the slogan 'DRIVE to the CHAMPIONSHIP' printed sideways above the image of a car tire and a Heat flaming-basketball logo." Miami-Dade County owns the arena, and the city of Miami is "supposed to enforce the ... sign ordinance inside its own borders." Assistant City Manager Alice Bravo said that the team "could be fined if the banners aren't gone by Thursday, ... though the city prefers to achieve compliance first." However, the Heat have "refused to take the signs down." Heat Dir of Marketing Communications & Advertising Lorrie-Ann Diaz said that the team "would remove the 'sponsorship message' from the banners but leave them up 'until the end of the playoff run' while applying for a permit." Bravo said that she was "uncertain whether the tree banners without an advertising component would be permissible on the arena property itself." She added that she believes "draping banners over palms on the public sidewalk is not" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/10).