Photo Courtesy of ImageMD
Rest in peace to the Miami Arena. The arena is set for demolishing tomorrow morning Sunday September 21, 2008. The “pink elephant” as its been often called used to be home to the Miami Heat and the Florida Panthers, but we all know where those teams up in left to. First the Orange Bowl, and now this. Â Here’s a little back story to the history of the arena…
Completed in 1988 at a cost of $52.5 million, its opening took business away from the Hollywood Sportatorium and eventually led to its demise. The arena was the home of the Miami Heat from 1988-2000, the Florida Panthers from 1993-1999, the University of Miami basketball teams from 1988-2003, the Miami Hooters of the Arena Football League from 1993-1995, the Miami Matadors of the ECHL in 1998 and the Miami Morays indoor football team since 2005. It also hosted the 1990 NBA All-Star Game, the 1991 Royal Rumble the 1994 NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional Final and the NHL’s 1996 Stanley Cup Finals. The 2001 Christmas Eve episode of Monday Night Raw featuring The Rock was also held here.
On January 2, 2000, the Heat moved to the American Airlines Arena located three blocks east of Miami Arena on the shore of Biscayne Bay. The Panthers also left Miami Arena to play at what is now the BankAtlantic Center located in Sunrise, Florida right near Florida’s largest outlet mall, Sawgrass Mills.
Most of the concerts that were held at Miami Arena are now held at newer venues, including the BankAtlantic Center, AmericanAirlines Arena or the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Since then, the arena has remained mostly inactive. The arena was sold in a public auction in 2004 to Glenn Straub, an investor from Palm Beach County, Florida, for $24 million less than the $52 million the city of Miami paid for its original construction. Miami Arena is sometimes called the “Pink Elephant”, because it is a White Elephant with pink colored walls.
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. Miami officials have pitched an idea to the Florida Marlins that would move the site of their proposed $525 million New Marlins Stadium from the site of the Orange Bowl to the Miami Arena site. The Marlins are against this proposal as it would delay stadium construction and could cause the new stadium to not open in time for the 2011 season. Straub has proposed a land swap that would result in him owning the Orange Bowl site in Little Havana, which he has ideas for its redevelopment.