American Airlines Arena triple-A

The American Airlines Arena, home to the NBA Miami Heat and sometimes referred to as the triple-A, is located at 601 Biscayne Boulevard on 14 acres in downtown Miami. Micky Arison, owner of the NBA Miami Heat, contributed $50 million to the $175 million facility, built to replace the 10-year old Miami Arena, and the remaining funding came primarily from hotel revenue. After fire delayed construction in November 1998, it opened on December 31,1999 with Gloria Estefan in concert, and two days later, Miami Heat played their first game in the new Arena. American Airlines sponsorship and naming rights are evident throughout from the gigantic plane on the roof that can be seen from the Miami International Airport, 6 miles away, to the skyboxes appropriately named Flagship Lounges.

The Arena has a unique scoreboard that changes colors with atmospheric conditions, and a seating capacity of 20,000, with 9,600 at lower level bowl, 5,800 upper bowl, suite level 800, and 3,000 in upper balconies. In addition, the concert capacity is approximately 12,000 at end stage to over 19,000 center stage. There are great views of the city’s skyline, public concourse balconies, private terraces with luxury center court suites for 4 to 12 people, a restaurant and bar, and numerous concession stands within the Arena. The tropical theme of the waterfront location is carried outside to a landscaped terrace, an outdoor café and activity area, and a pedestrian bridge linking the Bayside Market.

Sports and other events are presented almost nightly, and the Arena has hosted World Wresting Entertainment, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and Shakira, in addition to the 2006 NBA Finals, the MTV Music Awards in 2004 and 2005, and many others. Upcoming events include Ringling Brothers Circus, Billy Joel, the SoBe Wine and Food Festival, Harlem Globetrotters, and Justin Timberlake. The city of Miami can expect even more revenue when the Arena hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament games in 2009.

The Waterfront Theater in the American Airlines Arena is a premium entertainment venue and the largest of its type in Forida. The Theater can seat from 3,000 to 5,800 and is used for concerts, family shows, dinner theater, private presentations, and Broadway shows. A floor-to-ceiling acoustic curtain, chandeliers, and carpeted aisles provide an intimate atmosphere for charity and social events, fashion shows, and trade expos. All-inclusive packages for use of the facility include theater or banquet seating, dressing rooms and lockers, a loading dock, ushers, ticket takers, and additional options such as catering, special effects, concessions, and mini-bars, as well as production or marketing assistance. In addition to staging an event, party facilities are available at the DeWar’s 12 Clubhouse, and party suites can be rented for 20 to 120 guests.

Box Office: Monday — Friday, 9:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., prices vary with event.

Parking: Onsite below arena — 1,147 spaces; direct access from premium seating; 20,000 additional parking spaces within 10 to 15 blocks.

Other Arena Information: Attendance in 2005-2006 – 800,000+. Gloria Estefan’s restaurant, Bongo’s Cuban Café, is located next door. Retired # 23 – Michael Jordan.

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