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Miami Arena
The Pink Elephant
Miaarena logol.png
Miami Arena, 2002
Miami Arena circa 2002
Address721 NW 1st Ave
LocationMiami, Florida
Coordinates25°46′52″N 80°11′41″W / 25.78111°N 80.19472°W / 25.78111; -80.19472Coordinates: 25°46′52″N 80°11′41″W / 25.78111°N 80.19472°W / 25.78111; -80.19472
Public transitMetrorail (Miami-Dade County) Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre
OwnerCity of Miami (1988–2004)
Arena Ventures, LLC. (2004–2008)
OperatorMiami Sports and Entertainment Authority
  • 15,200 (basketball)
  • 14,700 (hockey)
Broke groundAugust 4, 1986 (1986-08-04)[1]
OpenedJuly 13, 1988 (1988-07-13)[2]
ClosedJuly 2008
DemolishedAugust–October 2008
Construction cost$52.5 million
($120 million in 2021 dollars[3])
ArchitectLloyd Jones Fillpot Associates
Structural engineerWalter P. Moore[4]
General contractorLinbeck Construction Company
Miami Heat (NBA) (1988–1999)
Miami Hurricanes (NCAA) (1988–2002)
Florida Hammerheads (RHI) (1993)
Florida Panthers (NHL) (1993–1998)
Miami Hooters (AFL) (1993–1995)
Miami Matadors (ECHL) (1998–1999)
Miami Manatees (WHA2) (2003–2004)
Miami Morays/Florida Frenzy (NIFL) (2005–2006)

Miami Arena was an indoor arena located in Miami, Florida. The venue served as the home of the NBA's Miami Heat, and the NHL's Florida Panthers. From 1988 until 1999, it also was the indoor arena for the Miami Hurricanes.


Miami Arena being demolished, view from the west, taken September 24, 2008. The west wall was the last to fall, October 21, 2008.
Miami Arena being demolished, view from the west, taken September 24, 2008. The west wall was the last to fall, October 21, 2008.

Completed in 1988 at a cost of $52.5 million, its opening took business away from the Hollywood Sportatorium and eventually led to that venue's demolition. The arena was the home of the Miami Heat from 1988 to 1999, the Florida Panthers from 1993 to 1998, the University of Miami basketball teams from 1988 to 2003, the Miami Hooters of the Arena Football League from 1993 to 1995, the Miami Matadors of the ECHL in 1998 and the Miami Manatees of the WHA2 in 2003. The first game played by the Heat in their first home was a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, 111–91, on November 5, 1988; the first victory came a month and a half later against the Utah Jazz, 101–80.

The arena also hosted the 1990 NBA All-Star Game, the 1991 WWF Royal Rumble, the 1994 NCAA men's basketball East Regional final, the NHL's 1996 Stanley Cup Finals between the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche and the NBA's 1997 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.

By 1998, the Miami Arena, like most indoor sports arenas built in the late 1980s, was beginning to show its age, despite being only 10 years old. Its seating capacity was one of the lowest of any NBA or NHL arena. In addition, sports teams in general began wanting newer, more updated facilities, specifically luxury suites and new concessions. In 1998, the Panthers moved into the National Car Rental Center (now FLA Live Arena) in Sunrise, near Florida's largest outlet mall, Sawgrass Mills. On January 2, 2000, the Heat moved to the new American Airlines Arena located three blocks east of Miami Arena on the shore of Biscayne Bay.

After the year 2000, the arena became mostly inactive, as most of the concerts that were held at Miami Arena moved to the newer venues. However, the Miami Manatees of the WHA2 played at the Miami Arena in 2003, and the Miami Morays indoor football from 2005 to 2006.

The arena was easily accessible via mass transit, with a Metrorail stop at Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre station just across the street (once known as Overtown/Arena station). Miami-Dade city buses also service the arena area downtown. Miami Arena was sometimes called the "Pink Elephant", because it was a white elephant with pink colored walls.

In 2004, the arena was sold in a public auction to Glenn Straub, an investor from Palm Beach County, for half of the price the city of Miami paid for its original construction. On August 3, 2008, Straub announced in a television interview that the interior of the arena had been cleared out and that the building would be demolished by the end of the month. On September 21, 2008, the roof of the Miami Arena was imploded. While the exterior walls remained standing after the implosion, demolition continued until the falling of the west wall on October 21, 2008. A parking lot now exists where the arena used to stand.

Seating capacity


Ice hockey/arena football




List of Events


  1. ^ Liff, Robert A. (August 5, 1986). "Miami Breaks Ground For 16,000-seat Arena". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Miami Arena's Opening Bash is a Hit With Colorful Crowd". Miami Herald. July 14, 1988. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  3. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  4. ^ Walter P Moore – Arenas (archived)
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Home of the
Miami Heat

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Home of the
Florida Panthers

Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by