This is the home stadium of the NBA
's Miami Heat
, located in Bayfront Park
right in the middle of downtown Miami, Florida
. It continues in the peculiar American tradition of naming basketball
arenas after airline
s, but unlike, say, the United Center
, American Airlines
managed to get its entire product name on the facility, which sports a giant airplane painted on the roof with the "AA" logo
in the center. You're sure to see this massive piece of advertising if you take off to the east from Miami International Airport
AAA (local sportscasters call it "the triple A") was opened in 1999, after a spectacular South Florida construction in which the entire shell of girders was set on fire for some reason and nearly burned to the ground. Its opening performance was none other than Miami diva Gloria Estefan. Scores of big-ticket concerts have been held at the Arena, and until 2002, the WNBA's Miami Sol played there.
As many as 20,000 people can squeeze into the AAA, but it usually holds 19,600 for basketball games. The stadium incorporates four ultra-posh skybox suites, 75 "Flagship Lounges" (another tie-in to the airline), as well as 20 "Center Court Suites" and 52 private loges with four or six seats: people on particularly hefty expense accounts can even charter a yacht called the "Arena Eagle" to take their entertainees up and down the Intracoastal Waterway before the game. AAA's concourses all look out on Miami's skyline and Biscayne Bay.
Find out more at: http://www.aaarena.com