Miami-Dade Mayor To Meet With Heat As Team Looks To Expedite Arena Lease Extension
The Heat and Miami-Dade County "have been in talks since 2012 to extend the team’s agreement to play at AmericanAirlines Arena," but some county commissioners "think the negotiations should speed up," according to Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. The commission yesterday "voted unanimously to direct Mayor Carlos Gimenez to sit down with the Heat." Team execs are "seeking a 10-year extension of the deal" that lets the team play at the arena and receive about $6.5M a year "in hotel taxes to subsidize operations." The agreement does not expire until '29, but the Heat have "been trying to capitalize" on their back-to-back championships to extend the terms in exchange for a "significant upgrade to the 14-year-old arena." There has been "no rush into the negotiations" on the part of the county. But for the Heat, "now is the time to make the most of the good will that comes from winning" because F LeBron James could "opt out of his contract and become a free agent at the end of this season" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/23).