Ever since Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat to become the “Three Kings,” their success has allowed local restaurants, real estate agencies, hotels, and bars to prosper economically under the influence of out of area consumers, specifically coming to Miami to see the basketball games.
The Miami Heat have a tourist advantage: their stadium is in Miami. They are surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and real estate agencies who search for potential customers and buyers that look forward to staying as close to the American Airlines Arena during the NBA season as possible. Last year during the NBA Playoffs, hotel occupancy rate was at a record breaking 80.6%.
According to Tony Argiz, CEO of Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, the Miami Heat is estimated to bring $600 million to $1 billion to the local Miami economy in the next five years as of 2011.
Forbes.com has estimated the Miami Heat to be worth roughly $ 362 million dollars.
But tourism is not the only form of increasing activity in restaurants and parking areas. Local Floridians have been eating dinner before or after a game and/or going shopping at Bayside, supplementing the economy as much as the visitors.
“People [-not just the tourists- use the] opportunity to go see three of the best basketball players,” said Helena Castro, Miami Lakes Educational Center’s Activities Director. “There are teams that suffer from economic down fall – with any sport. Most markets are fickle; it’s easy to support [a team that is doing well].
The prosperity of local parking areas, restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers has allowed new jobs to be available to the public. These available jobs include but are not limited to jobs as a bar keepers, arena workers, waiters/waitresses, parking attendants, and catering personals.
Like the NBA, most of these jobs are seasonal.
According to ESPN, the NBA Lockout “eras[ed] a total of 324 games or 26 percent of the season…” and unfortunately the people who hold jobs dependent to the NBA and the Miami Heat were impacted greatly, especially in the current economic state.
Though these forms of jobs are often unstable, the American Airlines Arena helps provide economic advantages to the local Miami community.
Eric Woolworth, President of The Heat Group’s Business Operations, in an interview with Michael Gerrity in 2011, said:
“When we built the American Airlines Arena 11 years ago, downtown Miami was a veritable urban wasteland. We are very proud that our decision to stay in Miami at that time has paid off for the community…. It is a really exciting part of what the Miami Heat is currently doing, and we are really happy for all of the businesses in our community that are benefiting from our success.”