And double whuh-oh:
The Miami Heat has begun talks to rework a deal for public subsidies at AmericanAirlines Arena in exchange for a longer lease and a significant upgrade of the 13-year-old facility.
Citing mounting costs for keeping the 19,600-seat arena competitive for concerts and to provide basketball fans more amenities, Heat executives say they will need more help from Miami-Dade to sustain the arena’s current top-notch quality into the middle of the century. They warn that without the start of a new wave of upgrades, the facility faces the fate of the team’s original home at Miami Arena, which was demolished five years ago.
Okay, so the Miami Heat‘s original home of Miami Arena was demolished because the Heat successfully got Miami to approve building them a new arena in 1996, even though their previous one was just eight years old at the time. So this “warning” is, in essence, a threat that if Miami doesn’t agree to give the Heat money for a refurbished arena, they’ll risk losing the team to … a new arena that Miami will build? What?
Anyway, this is yet another sign that asking for subsidies to fund renovations is the new asking for subsidies to fund new stadiums — all the kids are doing it! And also that team owners are realizing that when your team is in the championship finals is probably a good time to go asking for money, especially when it’s a team whose superstar is a free agent at the end of next season. (Send us money or we’ll shoot Lebron!) If nothing else, maybe it’ll distract everyone’s attention from whether the Heat has been stiffing Miami-Dade taxpayers on their share of profits.