FTX Arena

The FTX Arena (formerly known, and commonly referred to as American Airlines Arena) is a sports and entertainment multi-purpose arena located in Miami, Florida, along Biscayne Bay. It was constructed beginning in 1998 as a replacement for the Miami Arena and designed by the architecture firms Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture. The arena is home to the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association.

FTX Arena
Ftx arena logo.svg
FTX Arena
FTX Arena in 2012
FTX Arena is located in Miami
FTX Arena
FTX Arena
Location in Miami
FTX Arena is located in Florida
FTX Arena
FTX Arena
Location in Florida
FTX Arena is located in the United States
FTX Arena
FTX Arena
Location in the United States
Former namesAmerican Airlines Arena (1999–2021)
Address601 Biscayne Boulevard
LocationMiami, Florida
Coordinates25°46′53″N 80°11′17″W / 25.78139°N 80.18806°W / 25.78139; -80.18806Coordinates: 25°46′53″N 80°11′17″W / 25.78139°N 80.18806°W / 25.78139; -80.18806
Public transitMetrorail (Miami-Dade County) Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre
Brightline MiamiCentral
Metromover Freedom Tower
Metromover Park West
Parking939 parking spaces
OwnerMiami-Dade County
OperatorBasketball Properties Ltd.
CapacityBasketball: 19,600;
16,500 (Without upper levels)
Concerts: 5,000-20,021
SurfaceMulti-surface
Construction
Broke groundFebruary 6, 1998
OpenedDecember 31, 1999
Construction cost$213 million
ArchitectArquitectonica
360 Architecture (formerly Heinlein Schrock Stearns)
Project managerParsons Brinckerhoff
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack+Kurtz[1]
General contractorMorse-Diesel/Odebrecht/Facchina[2]
Main contractorsJohn J. Kirlin, LLC[3]
Simpson Constructors[4]
Crown Corr Inc.[5]
Tenants
Miami Heat (NBA) (2000–present)
Miami Sol (WNBA) (2000–2002)

The FTX Arena is directly served by the Miami Metrorail at Government Center station via free transfers to Metromover Omni Loop, providing direct service to Freedom Tower and Park West stations. The Arena is also within walking distance from the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Metrorail station.

The FTX Arena has 2,105 club seats, 80 luxury suites, and 76 private boxes. The Waterfront Theater is Florida's largest theater which is housed within the arena, that can seat between 3,000 and 5,800. The theater can be configured for concerts, family events, musical theatre and other stage shows. American Airlines which has a hub at Miami International Airport maintains the FTX Arena Travel Center at the venue.[6]

In September 2019, it was reported that the arena would have a new name in 2020.[7][8][9] In March 2021, FTX Crypto Exchange, a bitcoin exchange platform, acquired the naming rights to the arena for $135 million.[10][11] The NBA approved the deal in early April, and the arena was fully renamed to FTX Arena in June 2021.[12][13]

HistoryEdit

The arena opened as the American Airlines Arena on December 31, 1999, and its construction cost was $213 million. Architectural design team members included George Heinlein, Cristian Petschen, Reinaldo Borges, and Lance Simon. The arena's opening was inaugurated with a concert by Gloria Estefan. Two days later, on January 2, 2000, the Miami Heat played its first game in the new arena by defeating the Orlando Magic 111–103.

 
The main façade of the arena at night

As part of its sponsorship arrangement, American Airlines had a giant aircraft painted atop the arena's roof, with an American Airlines logo in the center. The design is visible from airplanes taking off and landing at Miami International Airport, where American has a hub. The arena also has luxury skyboxes called "Flagship Lounges", a trademark originally used for American's premium-class lounges at certain airports.

Local sportscasters often referred to the arena as the "Triple-A". Some sports reporters on the local news stations such as WSVN have referred to the arena as "A3" (A cubed). The arena is known for its unusual scoreboard, designed by Artist Christopher Janney. Drawing on the underwater anemone forms, the scoreboard also changes colors depending on the atmosphere. For concerts in an arena configuration, end stage capacity is 12,202 for 180° shows, 15,402 for 270° shows, 18,309 for 360° shows. For center stage concerts the arena can seat 19,146.

The Miami Heat has not had to pay to use the $357-million venue, which sits on $38 million of county land; the county has paid $64 million in operating subsidies. "It was never a good deal," says former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson, who opposed the new arena in 1996. "There are certain politicians who just get stars in their eyes and don't really think about what the real cost is going to be."

WTVJ, the city's NBC owned-and-operated station in Miami, had their Downtown Miami Studios in the back of the arena from 2001 till 2011.

On September 10, 2019, it was reported that American Airlines said that it would not renew its naming rights upon expiration at the end of 2019. The new naming rights contract with a sponsor, which at that time had yet to be determined, would be a ten-year/six-month deal lasting from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2030 (to time with the end of the 2029–30 NBA season).[14] As of December 2020, the naming rights had not been sold, and the arena continued to use the American Airlines Arena name. The American Airlines Arena court decals were removed from the Heat's floor before the 2020–21 season and replaced temporarily with the logo of team/league vehicle sponsor Kia Motors. In March 2021, FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, acquired the naming rights to the arena for $135 million.[15][16] The NBA approved the deal in early April, and the new name of FTX Arena was fully adopted in June 2021, just after the Miami Heat were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs.[17]

AccessibilityEdit

TransportationEdit

 
The arena as seen from Freedom Tower station.

Traffic congestion after events can cause delays for those who choose to drive to the arena. Visitors to the arena are encouraged to take Metrorail, Metromover, or Metrobus, as parking can be scarce and expensive. Metromover's Freedom Tower station is located two blocks west of the arena. The nearest Metrorail stations are Government Center and Historic Overtown. The Metromover is free to ride and connects to Metrorail at Government Center station.

Parking on-siteEdit

The arena features 939 parking spaces, with those spaces reserved for premium seat and Dewar's 12 Clubhouse ticket holders during Heat games. ParkJockey manages the arena's on-site parking.[18][19]

Notable eventsEdit

BasketballEdit

 
The arena during Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals

Professional wrestlingEdit

The arena hosted WCW Uncensored pay-per-view in 2000. Four major WWE pay-per-view events have been held at the arena: the Royal Rumble in 2006, Survivor Series in 2007 and 2010, and Hell in a Cell in 2013.

Other sportsEdit

  • The arena also hosted the first UFC event in the state of Florida, UFC 42: Sudden Impact, on April 25, 2003.
  • The arena features a regulation NHL ice rink, though the arena has never hosted the sport, as the Florida Panthers have played in Sunrise at the BB&T Center since October 1998. The rink, lined with a smaller wall, instead accommodates ice shows such as Disney on Ice.[20]
  • The Waterfront Theatre at the arena hosted the 2020 NFL Honors on February 1, 2020, which was broadcast on Fox.

MusicEdit

 
Shakira has performed 9 sold-out shows in FTX Arena, the most number of appearances at the venue among all artists. She also holds the record of having most shows in the venue within one single tour, Oral Fixation Tour in 2006, with 5 sold-out shows.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Westchester Reform Temple, Rogers Marvel Architects". www.architecturalrecord.com.
  2. ^ "Facchina Group of Companies, LLC — Facchina Construction Company". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  3. ^ AmericanAirlines Arena Archived 2011-09-14 at the Wayback Machine Kirlin
  4. ^ Past Projects Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine Simpson Constructors
  5. ^ AmericanAirlines Arena Crown Corr
  6. ^ "Miami And Coral Gables, FL Travel Center Archived 2009-04-06 at the Wayback Machine." American Airlines. Retrieved on April 9, 2009.
  7. ^ Arnold, Kyle (September 11, 2019). "American Airlines giving up naming rights to Miami arena". dallasnews.com. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Winderman, Ira (September 11, 2019). "American Airlines not renewing naming rights to Heat arena". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Alvarez, Stefan (September 12, 2019). "Miami Heat: AmericanAirlines Arena to be renamed". allucanheat.com. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "It's Official! Miami Heat Home To Be Named FTX Arena". CBS Miami. March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  11. ^ Vela, Hatzel; Torres, Andrea (March 26, 2021). "NBA still needs to approve Miami-Dade's $135M deal with FTX to rename Miami Heat's home". WPLG. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  12. ^ "Welcome To FTX Arena". Heat.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. June 4, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  13. ^ Vela, Hatzel (April 7, 2021). "NBA approves deal to name Miami Heat's home building FTX Arena". WPLG. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  14. ^ Scheckner, Jesse (September 10, 2019). "it won't be called AmericanAirlines Arena next year". Miami today. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "It's Official! Miami Heat Home To Be Named FTX Arena". CBS Miami. March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  16. ^ Vela, Hatzel; Torres, Andrea (March 26, 2021). "NBA still needs to approve Miami-Dade's $135M deal with FTX to rename Miami Heat's home". WPLG. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  17. ^ Vela, Hatzel (April 7, 2021). "NBA approves deal to name Miami Heat's home building FTX Arena". WPLG. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "The HEAT Group Teams Up With New Parking App, ParkJockey". Miami Heat.
  19. ^ Sentenac, Hannah (2014-10-30). "Avoid Parking Hell at Miami Heat Games With ParkJockey App". Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  20. ^ "Arena description page on Thornton Tomasetti website". Thornton Tomasetti. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  21. ^ Lindner, Emily (March 28, 2015). "Justin Bieber Joined Ariana Grande Onstage And She Rapped Big Sean's Part On 'As Long As You Love Me'". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  22. ^ Sonawane, Vishakha (March 16, 2016). "Rihanna Performs Raunchy Moves With Drake At 'Anti' Tour Amid Dating Rumors". International Business Times. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Chatterjee, Kika (June 11, 2016). "Twenty One Pilots, more dedicate songs to Christina Grimmie's memory—watch". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  24. ^ Crandell, Ben (2016-10-25). "Review: Adele dazzles Miami crowd, Hillary Clinton". Retrieved 2016-10-26.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Home of the Miami Heat
1999–present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
none
Home of the Miami Sol
2000–2002
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
Home of the Royal Rumble
2006
Succeeded by