Miami Heat to enter 2020 without naming rights deal at home arena

Expiring deal with American Airlines worth $2M annually

The NBA’s Miami Heat will enter the New Year without an active naming rights sponsor for their home arena.

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The Heat’s home court has been known as American Airlines Arena since it opened in 2000. However, the naming rights deal expires on Jan. 1, 2020, and the airline has already said it would not pursue a renewal.

The stadium will retain its current name until a new naming rights deal is reached, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told FOX Business. Miami-Dade County owns the stadium and exercised its right to take over naming rights negotiations in late 2018.

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The county is in the process of finding a new naming rights partner and had “nothing new” to disclose regarding its progress, the spokesperson added. American Airlines remains a prominent Heat sponsor.

The Miami Heat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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American Airlines paid $2 million per season to retain naming rights during its term as sponsor, according to the Miami Herald. The county must cover the lost revenue in payments to the Heat if it is unable to secure a replacement.

TD Bank has emerged as a potential naming rights successor and engaged in advanced talks with county officials as recently as November, the Herald reported. County officials expect to secure a significant increase on the $2 million fee that American Airlines paid under the old deal.

“We think it’s a very good opportunity for us to make a lot more money than we make now,” Gimenez said, according to the newspaper.

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