The Miami Heat‘s home will remain known as AmericanAirlines Arena for now, as Miami-Dade County continues is search for a new naming-rights partner.
The previous arena naming-rights agreement with American Airlines expired earlier this week. While that partnership was negotiated with the Heat, arena naming rights are now the responsibility of Miami-Dade County, which in 2018 exercised an option to take over negotiations in exchange for paying the Heat $2 million annually beginning in 2020 to make up for the loss of naming-rights revenue.
Miami-Dade County’s search for a naming-rights partner is continuing into early 2020, as the county has not finalized an agreement. With that search ongoing, the venue will continue to be called AmericanAirlines Arena for the time being. More from a Miami Herald report, dated December 27:
With talks ongoing to find a new title sponsor at the Heat’s county-owned arena, the venue will still be called AmericanAirlines Arena even when the existing naming-rights deal with American Airlines expires Jan. 1, according to a source briefed on the situation. The current plan is for it to remain AmericanAirlines Arena until a new sponsor is in place.
Patty Hurtado de Mendoza, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, confirmed it will remain AmericanAirlines Arena for the time being.
The Gimenez administration officially ran out of time earlier this month to have a new naming agreement approved by the County Commission before 2020, when American Airlines’ deal ends and Miami-Dade takes over sponsorship responsibility from the Heat.
The original naming-rights agreement was struck with American Airlines prior to the venue’s opening in 1999, calling for a roughly $2.1 million annual payment as part of a 20-year sponsorship.
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