How did this happen?
Attention Miami, Florida residents, some local government miscalculation in landing naming rights at the city arena that is used by the NBA’s Heat is costing taxpayers $2 million. Miami officials ended up securing the naming rights on the building and because there is no agreement for a corporate name on the arena after January 1, 2020, the city owes Micky Arison, the team owner, money. Arison used to get the naming rights money but after 2020, he is supposed to get a stipend from Miami officials of two million dollars a year. Here is how that happened.
In 2014, Heat lawyers signed off on a deal with Miami Dade County that allowed the municipality starting in 2020 to sell the naming rights instead of the team. Local politicians were hoping that some company would jump at the opportunity to pay big money to put its name on that arena. Miami-Dade County was hoping the bidding for the naming rights started at six million dollars annually. Names come and go with companies who had naming rights such as Miller Beer in Milwaukee or American Airlines in Miami or AT &T in San Francisco or Banker’s Life in Indianapolis deciding to get out of the venue rights naming business. It is unclear if putting a name on an arena or a stadium is worthwhile or if a company’s CEO wants to spend millions to put a name on a shingle for vanity purposes. A company that runs a pornographic website did offer $10 million a year for the naming rights. Miami officials turned down BangBros. The Miami building is subsidized from local hotel taxes as the county takes a piece of the tax and redirects it to the Heat business which technically pays the debt on the building. Miami-Dade County owns the building and the land that houses the arena.