The AmericanAirlines Arena is located in Miami, Florida, along the Biscayne Bay, is home to the NBA’s Miami Heat. It is named after its sponsor, American Airlines, a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Arena Guide by Basketball Tripper
The AmericanAirlines Arena was built as a replacement facility to the Miami Arena; the arena didn’t officially break ground until February of 1998 and wasn’t finished until December of 1999.
The arena’s architectural design team included George Heinlein, Cristian Petschen, Reinaldo Borges, and Lance Simon and its construction cost was $213 million. A component of the sponsorship agreement, American Airlines had a giant airplane painted on the arena’s roof, with their logo in the center. The design is seen from planes taking off coming in for landing at Miami’s international airport. The arena also has luxury boxes called “Flagship Lounges,” a name originally used for American Airlines’ premium-class lounges at various airports.
The Miami Heat has not had to use the venue, which currently resides on $38 million of county owned land; the county has paid $64 in operating expenses. “It was never a good deal,” says former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson, who initially opposed the new arena in 1996. “There are certain politicians who just get stars in their eyes and don’t think about what the real cost is going to be.”
In September of 2019, it was reported that American Airlines would not renew its naming rights contract when it expires at the end of 2019. The new naming rights sponsor has yet to be decided, but it will be a ten-year deal lasting from January of 2020, to June of 2030
As of December 2020, the naming rights have not been sold, and the arena continues to operate under AmericanAirlines Arena name. The American Airlines decals were removed from the floor before the 2020–21 season and replaced temporarily with the team vehicle sponsor, Kia Motors.
Best Bars Near Ground
Several popular bars are located within walking distance to the arena, with a few of the favorites being The Other Daiquiri Bar, Fat Tuesday, Lost Boy, and Black Market Miami. Located in Miami’s heart and with over 5,500 square feet, guests will be welcomed by over thirty 4k TV’s Black Market is a sports bar for Miami sports at heart but receiving fans of all fanbases. Guests can choose from various seating options such as banquet, bar or high-top seats. With weekday two-for-one Happy Hour, game-day specials, Black Market Miami is one of sports lounges and is a nightlife destination for game night eating, drinking, parties, and events.
Food - Places to Eat
While several of the bars and pubs in the area offer several food options, a few other food options are a favorite of the locals and are right around the arena that you can stop at before tip-off. Some of the area’s choices include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Los Ranchos Steakhouse, Segafredo Bayside, Miami Barbecue, Ristorante Fratelli Milano, and many others. Since the Heat is prevalent in the area, several spots near the Toyota Center are sports-themed and will be great places to catch a bite to eat before the game or even watch the game while you eat.
The AmericanAirlines Arena does not currently offer tours available to the public.
Miami Heat Tickets
Typically, Heat tickets vary on who they are playing on the given night, but tickets can be found for as low as $15, with an average price of $92. A couple of the many premium seating options in the arena includes are the
BACARDI OCHO LOUNGE
• VIP Couches and Premier Seating available
• Exclusive Access to Bacardi Ocho Suite Level Amenities
• Meet & Greet Opportunities with HEAT Legends
AmericanAirlines LOUNGE & FLOOR SEATING
• Prime floor and center court seats in the first ten rows of the Arena
• VIP garage parking
• In-Seat food and beverage service
• Access to the Bacardi Ocho Lounge
Visiting the Arena - Travel
Since the Heat is located near the heart of Miami, there are several travel options you can choose from. The most popular transportation methods would include MDT (Miami-Dade Transit ), Miami’s primary public transit authority, which operates Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus. There are also various forms of care services and thousands of parking spots if you chose to bring your vehicle.
The address for the AmericanAirlines Arena is as follows:
• 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
While traffic during game nights will drive larger crowds than usual down to Miami, you should be in the clear of heavy traffic if you leave a few hours before tip-off. If you are coming from surrounding suburbs, you will most likely be coming into the city on one of the three major highways (I-95, SR 112, SR826, and SR 836).
While there are public/paid parking options on any given game night, most of the lots and garages near the arena have been eliminated for other buildings to be constructed. While the arena does have parking available, those spots are reserved for premium ticket buyers.
For public transportation, you are most likely looking to be on the MDT (Miami-Dade Transit), Miami’s primary public transit authority, which operates Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus. With several public transportation options that run throughout the day and night, finding reliable public transportation will be a breeze.
Airports and Flying
If you are coming from out of state and flying, you will most likely fly into the Miami International Airport. The drive from the airport to the arena is 5.8 miles and will roughly take 20-40 minutes to reach the arena. The most popular transportation methods to the AmericanAirlines Arena are bus ($4-$6), tram ($5), taxi ($20-$30), or car.