The Miami Heat are a professional basketball team that compete in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball League (NBA). The team was founded in 1988 as an expansion franchise and a survey was held to choose the name (Vice and Heat were both popular). The team initially struggled in the league, but turned their fortunes around in the mid 90’s to become an extremely strong side. They have achieved ultimate success twice and took home the NBA Championship in 2006 and 2012. The Heat are now one of the most valuable and well supported teams in the NBA. Let’s find out where the Miami Heat play their home games.
Where do the Miami Heat play?
The Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, which is located in downtown Miami. The arena was built as a replacement for their original home and opened in 1999, after almost two years of construction, at a cost of $213 million. The arena seats about 19,600 for basketball games and includes 80 luxury suites and 76 private boxes. The Heat are the only permanent tenant of American Airlines Arena, but it is also used for other events such as concerts, awards ceremonies, UFC and more.
Prior to moving into the American Airlines Arena the Heat played at Miami Arena. This stadium was built in 1988 at a cost of $52.5 million and, despite being just 11 years old, the Heat played their last game here in 1999. The stadium was sold for $28 million in 2000, which was $24 million less than it cost to build, and it was demolished in 2008. One of the main reasons that it was replaced was that it had one of the smallest capacities of any arena in the NBA (15,200). It was sometimes known as the “pink elephant” because it was considered to be a failure (white elephant) and had pink walls.