The Heat's Hot Air

The team promised the public an arena with plenty of open space. Instead we're getting a nightclub and a restaurant.

Watson contends that, like the median, the bridge will be built. The Heat did not realize the need to pull a federal permit to construct the walkway over Port Boulevard. Filling out the paperwork and gaining approval will postpone completion. "There is a delay in the process," says Watson. "It will be one year before the bridge is built."

Miami Mayor Joe Carollo sees the overpass as an essential component of his plan to link the downtown waterfront. "I fully expect this key provision of the contract to be kept," he says. "If not, it becomes very difficult to move people with all the traffic going to and coming from the port."

The four shortcomings -- the soccer field, the plaza, the median, and the bridge -- should add up to a new moniker for the stretch of Biscayne Boulevard in front of the arena, attorney Dan Paul comments. Now named for deceased Cuban exile leader Jorge Mas Canosa, it ought to be called the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, not for Caribbean immigrants who failed to reach the United States or aspiring South Beach models who flopped, but to honor the flimflam that resulted in public support for a large-scale, taxpayer-financed project that offers little benefit to residents. "I guess that's just the way things get done in this county," Paul laments.

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