The Miami Heat plan to open a nightclub in AmericanAirlines Arena by next season, according to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek. The team is working with restaurant/hotel owner Sam Nazarian to open a 5,000 square foot Hyde nightclub that will be free to ticket holders. The club will feature multiple bars, flat-screen televisions and a private dining room.
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The 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter) club will have its own entrance and accommodate 200 people, Nazarian said. Admission would be free for game- and concert-goers, and patrons without event tickets would be charged a fee, he said. The venue may be rented for special occasions when the arena is dark.
“In one respect, Hyde will be a new amenity for our best customers,” said Eric Woolworth, president of business operations for the Miami Heat. “It adds a hip quotient and panache, and it’s also another space we can market for parties and private events.”
Nazarian, whose company operates four Hyde lounges in the U.S., expects to have deals to provide nightclubs or food and beverage services at as many as 15 sports venues by 2016 and has created a new unit, called SBELive, to lead the effort, he said. The company is in talks with New York’s Madison Square Garden, Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, among other sports facilities, he said.
Leave it to the Heat to help pioneer bringing nightclubs to sporting events. The Miami fan base has been criticized for their lack of enthusiasm and attendance before. From Charles Barkley during the 2011 playoffs:
“They have the worst fans. No question. It’s not even loud in there. You’re at the game and you are like, ‘Man this place isn;t even loud.’ At least when you go to Chicago, it’s loud in there, it’s crazy down in Dallas but it’s not even loud in Miami.”
With arguably one of the most polarizing teams in NBA history, the fans in Miami still can’t get into the action. Maybe dancing in a nightclub will let the fans stay in their “comfort zone” while at the games next season. The Heat are currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and looking to once again make a run at the NBA Championship. The “Big 3” fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals last season.