Heat, County Negotiating Arena Deal Extension In Exchange For Renovations
The Heat and Miami-Dade County are "negotiating a 10-year extension of the deal that lets the team play at AmericanAirlines Arena" and receive about $6.5M a year in "hotel taxes to subsidize operations," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Heat execs yesterday "met at County Hall with Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his top aides about extending the team's original deal in exchange for the Heat launching a major upgrade of the 14-year-old arena." The current deal expires in '29, and a county commissioner is "pushing the mayor" to get an extension "done by March." Miami Deputy Mayor for Finance Ed Marquez said that talks currently "involve what kind of improvements the Heat are willing to make at the facility." He said, "We want to see what kind of an arena we want to have. Then we can start talking about the terms of the contract." The team said that without "significant investments," the arena "will become dated and, eventually, unsuitable, for an NBA team." Heat Owner Micky Arison and the franchise "bankrolled construction" of the $360M arena in the late '90s "in exchange for the current deal." While the Heat organization "pays no rent to the county, its original agreement includes profit-sharing agreements" designed to give the county 40% of all arena profits above $14M. Team profits, "including television revenue, are not part of the agreement" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/16).