So far this season everything has gone well for the Miami Heat, they are currently 37-14 and second only to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. But just because everything is fine on the court for the Heat, that doesn’t necessarily mean that off the court all is well also. According to a report in the Miami Herald a government agency, headed by Miami-Dade Inspector General Chris Mazzella, has started to look into the Miami Heat’s finances.
According to the report the Heat and Miami-Dade county had an agreement in place, when American Airlines Arena was built in 1999, that the team must share 40% of all profits that exceed $14 million per season. But apparently the team has never exceeded that amount, reporting that they made $13.2 million last year. But Miami-Dade county has a different story, stating that the Heat have made a record of $60 million in revenue since LeBron James, and Chris Bosh have joined the Heat.
On Friday Mazzella said that he is trying to figure out whether any of the profits the Heat have made should have been shared with the county of Miami-Dade, based off of the agreement to build the Heat’s arena on Biscayne Bay. Mazzella talked with the Miami Herald and issued this statement, “This particular contract had not been audited and we decided to take a look at it. We usually look at contracts that are supposed to be producing revenue for the county.”
With the recent additions of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, not to mention that American Airlines Arena frequently accommodates artists such as Britney Spears, Marc Anthony, and shows like Disney On Ice, it’s hard to think that in a single year they have not made over $14 million in profit. “Pollstar, which is a concert industry publication, ranked American Airlines Arena seventh in the nation, and 18th in the world, with 340,000 tickets sold from January to September of last year.”
The Heat constantly sell out games (seating 19,600 fans) and during the 2005-2006 season made a deep run in the playoffs and won the NBA championship. Adding one of the biggest, if not the biggest, and most polarizing basketball players in the world has not pushed the Heat’s profits over $14 million? I don’t know about anyone else but to me, this sounds a little fishy.
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