American Airlines Arena

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AmericanAirlines Arena
AAA
The Triple A
American Airlines Arena (logo).jpg
AmericanAirlines Arena
Location 601 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33132
Coordinates 25°46′53″N 80°11′17″W / 25.78139°N 80.18806°W / 25.78139; -80.18806Coordinates: 25°46′53″N 80°11′17″W / 25.78139°N 80.18806°W / 25.78139; -80.18806
Public transit Government Center
Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre
Parking 939 parking spaces
Owner Miami-Dade County
Operator Basketball Properties Ltd.
Capacity Basketball: 19,600;
16,500 (Without upper levels)
Concerts: 5,000-20,021
Surface Multi-surface
Construction
Broke ground February 6, 1998
Opened December 31, 1999
Construction cost $213 million
($302 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Arquitectonica
360 Architecture (formerly Heinlein Schrock Stearns)
Project manager Parsons Brinckerhoff
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer Flack+Kurtz[2]
General contractor Morse-Diesel/Odebrecht/Facchina[3]
Main contractors John J. Kirlin, LLC[4]
Simpson Constructors[5]
Crown Corr Inc.[6]
Tenants
Miami Heat (NBA) (2000–present)
Miami Sol (WNBA) (2000–2002)

The AmericanAirlines Arena is a sports and entertainment arena located in Downtown Miami, Florida along Biscayne Bay. It was constructed beginning in 1998 as a replacement for the Miami Arena and was designed by the architecture firms Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture. The Arena is home to the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. In the early 2000s, the Women's National Basketball Association team Miami Sol played at the arena from the team's birth in 2000 until the team's folding in 2002. The AmericanAirlines Arena is directly served by the Miami Metrorail at Government Center station via free transfers to Metromover Omni Loop, providing direct service to Freedom Tower and Park West stations. The Arena is also within walking distance from the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Metrorail station.

The AmericanAirlines Arena has 2,105 club seats, 80 luxury suites, and 76 private boxes. The Waterfront Theater is Florida's largest theater which is housed within the arena, that can seat between 3,000 and 5,800. The theater can be configured for concerts, family events, musical theatre and other stage shows. American Airlines maintains the AmericanAirlines Arena Travel Center at the venue.[7]

The airline also holds the naming rights for another NBA venue, the American Airlines Center for the Dallas Mavericks, which opened in 2001. American Airlines Center should not be confused with AmericanAirlines Arena as the latter spelling is distinct as in "American" and "Airlines" being considered one word.

History[edit]

The AmericanAirlines Arena opened on December 31, 1999 and its construction cost was $213,000,000. Architectural design team members included George Heinlein, Cristian Petschen, Reinaldo Borges, and Lance Simon. The AmericanAirlines Arena was inaugurated with a concert by Gloria Estefan. Two days later, on January 2, 2000, the Miami Heat played its first game in the new arena by defeating the Orlando Magic 111–103.

The main façade of the arena at night

As part of its sponsorship arrangement, American Airlines had a giant aircraft painted on top of the arena's roof, with an American Airlines logo in the center. The design is visible from airplanes taking off and landing at Miami International Airport, where American has a hub. The arena also has luxury skyboxes called "Flagship Lounges", a trademark originally used for American's premium-class lounges at certain airports.

Local sportscasters often refer to the arena as the "triple-A". Some sports reporters on the local news stations such as WSVN have referred to the arena as "A3" (A cubed). The arena is known for its unusual scoreboard, designed by Artist Christopher Janney. Drawing on the underwater anemone forms, the scoreboard also changes colors depending on the atmosphere. For concerts in an arena configuration, end stage capacity is 12,202 for 180-degree shows, 15,402 for 270-degree shows, 18,309 for 360-degree shows. For center stage concerts the arena can seat 19,146.

The Miami Heat has not had to pay to use the $357 million-venue, which sits on $38 million of county land; the county has paid $64 million in operating subsidies. "It was never a good deal," says former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson, who opposed the new arena in 1996. "There are certain politicians who just get stars in their eyes and don't really think about what the real cost is going to be."

Transportation[edit]

Traffic congestion after events can cause delays for those who choose to drive to the arena. Visitors to the AmericanAirlines Arena are encouraged to take the Miami Metrorail or Metrobus, as parking can be scarce and expensive. The nearest Metrorail stations are Government Center and Historic Overtown. Additionally, the Metromover provides free transportation throughout Downtown Miami and Brickell. For more information, visit: Miami-Dade Transit.

Parking On-site[edit]

AmericanAirlines Arena features 939 parking spaces during HEAT Games. On-site parking is reserved for Premium seat and Dewar's 12 Clubhouse ticket holders. On-site parking spaces must be pre-purchased through the Arena Ticket Office.[8]

Notable events[edit]

Basketball[edit]

  • The AmericanAirlines Arena along with the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, hosted the 2006 NBA Finals and the 2011 NBA Finals, when the Miami Heat played the Dallas Mavericks, with the Heat winning the championship in 2006 and the Mavericks winning the championship in the 2011 rematch (clinched in Miami). These series were the first and second appearances in the NBA Finals for both franchises. As the airline held the naming rights to both venues, the matchup were nicknamed by some as the "American Airlines series".

Other sports[edit]

  • The arena has hosted several professional wrestling events: WCW Uncensored on March 19, 2000, WWE Monday Night Raw on June 21, 2004, WWE Royal Rumble on January 29, 2006, WWE Monday Night Raw on January 1, 2007, WWE Survivor Series on November 18, 2007, WWE Smackdown/ECW tapings on April 1, 2008, WWE Smackdown/ECW tapings on July 14, 2009, WWE Smackdown/ECW House Show on December 18, 2009, WWE Monday Night Raw on June 7, 2010, WWE Survivor Series on November 21, 2010, WWE Monday Night Raw on May 2, 2011, WWE Monday Night Raw on April 2, 2012, WWE Smackdown tapings on January 8, 2013, Hell in a Cell on October 27, 2013, a WWE Live Event on January 31, 2014, and WWE Monday Night Raw on July 21, 2014. It also hosted the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
  • The AmericanAirlines Arena also hosted the first UFC event in the state of Florida, UFC 42: Sudden Impact, on April 25, 2003.

Music[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Miami Arena
Home of the
Miami Heat

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Miami Sol

2000–2002
Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
Save Mart Center
Home of the
Royal Rumble

2006
Succeeded by
AT&T Center