Report: County, Heat Reach Arena Deal
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s a major push for a Tuesday vote on a new deal between Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison regarding the rewrite of a 1997 agreement that gave the team a $6.4 million subsidy and profit-sharing arrangement, people familiar with the talks told CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald.
Mayor Gimenez reached a tentative agreement with Arison. The new deal keeps the Heat’s home at the AAA until the year 2035.
The public-private partnership between the County and the team has yielded almost no money for the county but the team has emphasized their commitment to the community, the AmericanAirlines Arena and their partnership with the County.
The County and Heat, under the proposed agreement, will shift from the current profit-sharing agreement to one that guarantees a fixed fee to the County. Also there will be a certainty of payment, according to Mayor Gimenez.
Also, as part of the new agreement, the Heat will pay approximately $81 million toward the maintenance of the AAA to ensure its viability.
The Herald states Gimenez aides are now racing to get the proposed agreement in front of commissioners for a Tuesday vote, but at least two are pushing back on the timing including Commissioner Xavier Suarez and Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa.
Suarez told the Herald he didn’t “understand the rush.”
Sosa said she needs additional time to go over the 500 page proposed agreement.
The proposed terms haven’t been made public.
On April 23rd, the team announced they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade another 10 years through 2040.
Arison proposed increasing the yearly subsidy from its current amount of $6.4 million to an average of $15 million during the last 10 years of the extended agreement. Arison also offered to donate about $1 million a year to the county’s parks department in exchange for ending the current profit-sharing arrangement, which has only paid Miami-Dade about $270,000 after 14 years.
The original deal had the team finance construction of the county-owned arena, then pay itself back $213 million, plus interest, out of profits.
The deal is subject to approval by the county’s commissioners.
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