The Real Deal Miami

Micky Arison announcement rankles Carlos Gimenez

Miami Heat owner says arena lease renewal reached, county mayor disagrees

April 24, 2014 11:15AM

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American Airlines Arena

American Airlines Arena

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez expressed frustration over Miami Heat owner Micky Arison’s premature announcement of a deal for increased county payments to the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Arison said on Wednesday an agreement was reached for the Heat to remain in the county-owned arena through 2040 in exchange for additional subsidies. The deal would cost Miami-Dade another $121 million over the next 26 years, according to the Miami Herald. The county already kicks in $6.4 million a year under the 1996 pact, which led to Arison financing construction of the $240 million venue.

Not so fast, Gimenez told the Herald.

“We don’t have a deal that I’m recommending,” he said. “It’s unfortunate the Heat put this out now.”

The Heat exercised a contractual option to open lease renewal discussions with the county in 2012. Miami-Dade would be able to begin collecting a fixed rent once a new deal is finalized. To date, the county has only netted about $300,000 from the original profit-sharing agreement. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis

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