Miami Heat's Micky Arison keeps American Airlines Arena profits

With a slew of national musical acts filling seats, and LeBron James and Chris Bosh propelling the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, the American Airlines Arena brought in a record-breaking $60 million in revenue in 2011. Yet for the 13th straight year, the Heat won't be sharing any of those profits with Miami-Dade taxpayers — you know, the ones who footed the bill to build the damn place.

Heat owner Micky Arison has essentially taken advantage of a loophole so he never has to share a nickel with voters who built his bayfront palace.

Under a 1997 construction agreement, the county gave away $38 million of land so Arison could erect the $213 million venue, plus it OKed a $6.4 million annual subsidy for operating the arena for the next 30 years.

Location Info


American Airlines Arena

601 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132

Category: Music Venues

Region: Central Dade

In return, Arison's subsidiary — Basketball Properties, Ltd. — would pay the county 40 percent of all profits over $14 million.

Guess what? The arena always falls just short of the magic number.

According to Arison, not even last season's playoff run, which helped the Triple A generate $15 million more than it had earned in 2010, bumped the stadium over $14 million in profits. Even beyond the NBA, the arena had a great year. Industry publication Pollstar ranks the American Airlines Arena seventh in the nation and 18th in the world, with 340,000 tickets sold from January through September of last year.

That's because Arison claims the arena is an extremely expensive place to run. Last year he claimed $47.8 million in operating expenses and says the arena generated only $13.2 million in profit. Those costs included "depreciation and amortization" — the loss in value of fixed assets, such as kitchen equipment or computers — that ate up $12 million.

In fact, depreciation has cost the Heat $55 million over the past five years.

We left a phone message for Basketball Properties' chief financial officer, Samuel Schulman, to find out what items lost value at the arena. He hasn't responded. We also tweeted Arison, who replied, "If you don't know, you aren't qualified to write a financial story."

My Voice Nation Help

Carnival Cruise Lines can easily be considered the worst place to work at, it is more like a dungeon and all that Fun bullshit is a pile of crap. Managers and VP are all a bunch of insecure, inep, idiots and it shows.

Tommy Robey
Tommy Robey

Mickey can keep the money. He brought us a 2006 NBA Championship, and then brought us the greatest show on Earth with the Big 3. With the stadium being packed all the time, the local economy does well with stadium employees being able to maintain their jobs. Tax payers foot the bill for stadiums because stadiums help boost the local economy by providing jobs. By bringing in the big 3, Mickey has produced numerous jobs for the local economy. Thus, for him to be labeled a "bad guy" because of withholding money from the city is ridiculous. He can use the money to reinvest into the stadium to generate more jobs. That would be much more productive than giving the money to the politicians who would only split it amongst their greedy selves with no benefit to the local economy.

Neil's ghost
Neil's ghost

Mickey Arisonofabitch is a steaming pile of shit. Wait......that is an insult to steaming piles of shit.

michael sola
michael sola

Ladies and Gentleman this comment by Tommy is the reason why Morons do exists in society



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