The Real Deal Miami

Miami Heat clarifies Micky Arison’s lease announcement

Team owner rankled Miami-Dade's mayor with premature e-mail touting new deal
April 25, 2014 12:45PM

Micky Arison and AmericanAirlines Arena

Micky Arison and AmericanAirlines Arena

The Miami Heat tried to clear up owner Micky Arison’s premature announcement of an AmericanAirlines Arena lease renewal that would cost Miami-Dade County an additional $121 million in subsidies over the next 26 years.

After Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez expressed frustration over Arison’s e-mail, Heat lobbyist Jorge Luis Lopez told the Miami Herald on Thursday the team owner’s proclamation should have been clearer.

“The words were more final than they should have been,” Lopez said. “It failed to clarify that the negotiations were ongoing.”

Gimenez told the Herald he is still perplexed about Arison’s e-mail and reiterated his discomfort with the proposed subsidy amount. County commissioners, including Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell, also have concerns about the potential deal.

“I find Mr. Arison’s statement disturbing,” Bell told the Herald. “The AAA operator cannot as Miami-Dade residents to commit to a future debt of $121 million when we are currently facing a budget deficit.” [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis