Report: Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena Could Change Name in Near Future

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The possibility of the Miami Heat‘s home changing its name could become a reality in the near future. That’s because officials in Miami-Dade County, the owner of American Airlines Arena, have introduced a resolution that seeks to look at other possibilities regarding naming rights for the facility.

The chief reason for this move is because the $42 million, 20-year naming rights agreement expires at the end of 2019. In addition, the option to sell those naming rights has to be exercised by the end of this year.

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That deal is only paying Miami-Dade County $2.1 million a year, an an amount that’s far less than what other facilities are currently earning. County officials estimate that a new deal should be worth at least $6 million, with any new deal spanning no longer than 20 years, beginning in 2020.

In 2011, there was some talk about a potential name change for the arena after American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That crisis eventually passed, with the company also continuing to hold naming rights for the Dallas Mavericks‘ arena.

One entertainment publication ranked American Airlines Arena as the top-ranked arena in the state of Florida and sixth in the country. That ranking was based on the 625,000 tickets that were sold for events in 2017.

In addition to the Heat playing their games at the arena, the facility also serves as a concert venue. Ground was broken for the arena on Feb, 6, 1998, with the arena opening on New Year’s Eve 1999 with a concert by singer Gloria Estefan. Two nights later, the Heat played their first game there against the Orlando Magic.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.