Miami-Dade seeks slice of AmericanAirlines Arena's profits
By Ashley Hopkins
After nearly 15 years of not seeing a dime out of its AmericanAirlines Arena deal, Miami-Dade County is going after its piece of the $14 million a year pie.
Arena operator Basketball Properties Ltd. has 60 days to give the county an operating and capital budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Deputy Mayor and county Finance Director Ed Marquez said the county will review the submission and compare it with prior agreements in hopes revenues will soon flow. Officials with Basketball Properties could not be reached.
When the county struck a deal with Miami Heat owner Micky Arison in 1997, government agreed to provide $38 million worth of land and pay a $6.4 million annual subsidy through 2027 in exchange for the $213 million arena.
Unlike the Marlins baseball stadium deal, which does not require owners to fork over any revenues to the county unless the team is sold, Mr. Arison was to hand the county 40% of all profits in excess of $14 million but has yet to make payments.
While the arrival of stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh helped push the team to the NBA finals and generate more than $60 million last year, Mr. Arison claimed $47.8 million worth of expenses at the arena. While revenues rose $15 million, arena profits did not surpass the $14 million mark.
In an email, Mr. Marquez said that "the goal of the county is to ensure that the AmericanAirlines Arena continues to be a world class venue and that it be maintained and operated in accordance with the agreements" previously set.
Within 60 days, Basketball Properties Ltd. is to provide the county with an operating and capital budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Mr. Marquez said the county is to review the submission and hopes "to achieve revenue sharing as soon as possible."