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AmericanAirlines Arena Miami Heat events tickets parking hotels seating food

AmericanAirlines Arena

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Our guide to AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

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In Miami’s vibrant sports scene, AmericanAirlines Arena might be its most interesting venue.

It’s got a lot going for it — a prime location downtown, right alongside Biscayne Bay (meaning it’s the closest sports venue to Miami Beach); a sleek, beautiful facility; and a prime tenant in the Miami Heat that for the better part of a decade has been the hottest ticket in town (though the team has lost two of its biggest names over the years).

The Heat, which won three titles in their first 25 years of existence and is responsible for bringing a number of star players into the Miami spotlight, undoubtedly occupies a marquee spot in South Florida’s sports consciousness — indeed, only the Dolphins rival the Heat’s popularity among local sports fans.

The Heat really are Miami’s glamour team, and in good times or bad, you can expect their home arena to be filled whenever the Heat are home.

And AmericanAirlines Arena doesn’t become the center attention just on Heat game nights, as major concerts and other events routinely come to the building each year.

For more on visiting Miami, check out our Miami sports travel guide.


Getting to AmericanAirlines Arena

Firstly: Yes, the space between “American” and “Airlines” is missing on purpose, a branding thing that sets the arena apart considering American Airlines has purchased naming rights to at least one other prominent sports venue in the U.S.

Because AmericanAirlines Arena occupies such a prime piece of land, there are disadvantages in trying to get there on an event night — namely traffic and parking.

And it almost doesn’t matter what day or time you’re headed there, because between the 9-to-5 commuters and the tourists going to and from the beach, the area is full of vehicles at nearly all waking hours.

Interstate 95 runs several blocks west of Biscayne Boulevard, the main thoroughfare on which the arena is located, and I-395, north of the arena, offers access via the Biscayne Boulevard exit. 

If you don’t want to drive, and you’re already in Miami proper, you have public transportation options. The city’s Metrorail service operates through downtown; the Overtown/Arena station is five blocks away.

Want to get a little closer? Then get off Metrorail at Government Center and transfer to the Metromover, an automated train system with three lines that wind through downtown. Get on an Omni Loop train and exit at Freedom Tower, one block from the arena. The Metromover system in particular can be confusing at first glance, though, so be sure to study a map to be sure you know where you’re headed.

Parking at AmericanAirlines Arena

Once you’ve found AmericanAirlines Arena, your next challenge is finding parking. Considering its downtown location, parking is at a premium, and inventory is likely to decrease in coming years as development ramps up nearby. That includes a handful of surface parking lots directly west of the arena, which are slowly giving way to high-rise residences, retail and other hallmarks of an arena-adjacent downtown district.

AmericanAirlines Arena has its own parking garage but it is typically filled by permit-holders, particularly for Heat games. Valet parking is sometimes available depending on event; motorists can enter via NE 8th Street on the arena’s north side.

The primary parking alternative for single-event patrons lies just south of AmericanAirlines Arena at the Bayside Marketplace shopping center. Parking rates vary depending on the event, but expect to pay $25 or more for Heat games. Advance-purchase parking is available via ParkWhiz.

Miami hotels near AmericanAirlines Arena

Note that the majority of downtown Miami hotel options are several blocks away from AmericanAirlines Arena, south of Flagler Avenue. So if you’re staying downtown and heading to a Heat game or another event at the arena, you might be looking at a walk of several blocks.

Holiday Inn Port of Miami-Downtown – 0.2 miles away
InterContinental Miami – 0.6 miles away
Courtyard by Marriott Miami Downtown – 0.6 miles away
Search for more Miami hotels on Booking.com.

Map of AmericanAirlines Arena area

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Things to do around AmericanAirlines Arena

It being downtown, you don’t have to stray too far from the arena to find places to hang out before tipoff. The aforementioned Bayside Marketplace contains more than a few places to eat and drink, including chains like Bubba Gump and Five Guys as well as an outdoor daiquiri bar.

The blocks immediately north and west of the arena have a smattering of sports bars and restaurants as well, and also the occasional nightclub if you feel like getting your groove on once the game is over.

A little further out, the Brickell neighborhood south of downtown is Miami’s preferred district for urban living and offers plenty of restaurants and bars. Similarly, the Wynwood district north of downtown brings similar entertainment offerings, but with a more artsy vibe.

If you don’t mind the traffic getting across Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is an option, too. Hang out on a restaurant patio, rent a bike and ride it along the beach or just cruise down Ocean Avenue and people-watch.

Hey, there aren’t too many arenas around which you can do those sorts of things pregame, so you might as well take advantage of it. Just allow yourself plenty of time to get back to AmericanAirlines Arena lest you miss the start of your event.

Miami restaurants near AmericanAirlines Arena

Los Ranchos Steakhouse – steakhouse, 0.1 miles away
Tuyo Restaurant – international, 0.2 miles away
Largo Bar & Grill – American, 0.2 miles away
Search for more Miami restaurants on Tripadvisor.

AmericanAirlines Arena Miami Heat events tickets parking hotels seating food

Watching a game at AmericanAirlines Arena

Once you’re inside the seating bowl, AmericanAirlines Arena is all about the experience of watching basketball. That goes without saying, right? After all, it is primarily a basketball arena.

But spend enough time in Miami and you’ll see that they do the entertainment and nightclub scene very well, and though the game is clearly the most important thing, of course, the arena offers plenty of flash as well.

For example, the building takes advantage of its picturesque location by having a plaza on the east side that overlooks the bay and includes a restaurant called 601, with standing tables, lamps and the like so that fans can gather and mingle while holding a drink, like attending a sophisticated mixer.

Though it’s on the opposite side from the main entrance facing Biscayne Boulevard, you’ll find it to your advantage to check it out anyway, and here’s why: the west entrances tend to get jammed up with fans waiting to enter, but few seem to realize that there are three whole other sides to the arena. So if you’re looking to enter without dealing with crowds, take a stroll around and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.

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As a basketball-only arena, the sight lines are terrific throughout the seating bowl at AmericanAirlines Arena. The lower bowl is big without feeling too far removed from the action, while the upper deck can feel somewhat high in the very top rows thanks to a rounded shape that allows for more seating along the sidelines.

If your seating area is that high, though, you can at least distract yourself with some of the many things worth seeing around AmericanAirlines Arena. The center-hung scoreboard is the most notable thing — it doesn’t offer impressively wide screens like some of its peers around the NBA, but how many of the competitors change color? This scoreboard is designed to resemble a sea anemone, with lighted tentacles spreading out from behind the numerous screens that change color almost like a lava lamp.

Meanwhile, the rafters are filled with the Heat’s three very large championship banners, as well as a few auxiliary screens that display game information. Look closely at the wall behind the upper seating area, though, and you’ll see two retired jerseys that have nothing to do with the Heat: One for Hall of Fame Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, the other for NBA legend Michael Jordan — who had his jersey retired by the Heat despite the fact that he never played for them. 

Food and drink at AmericanAirlines Arena

You’re greeted with lots of food and drink options at AmericanAirlines Arena, so do spend some time walking around surveying your options, which do well as a representation of the cuisine in Miami. You’ll find a lot of Latin food choices, such as the Cuban sandwich, street tacos and mofongo.

For choices that venture away from typical arena food, check out the Kuenko stand for noodles, baos and poke bowls, or Ms. Cheezious for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. In addition, Mojo Donuts sells donut varieties like guava and cheese and Nutella bacon.

Craft beer options are numerous around AmericanAirlines Arena. Local favorite Wynwood Brewing has its own carts around both the main and upper concourses, and the Craft Beer Cart on the 100 level sells beers from Biscayne Bay Brewing and J Wakefield.

If you’re in the mood for a margarita, you can get one at the Bodega Taqueria food stands on either concourse level.

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    The Particulars

    Home Teams
    Miami Heat

    Address
    601 Biscayne Blvd.
    Miami, FL 33132

    Year Opened
    1999

    Capacity
    19,600

    Upcoming Events
    All times local
    Roger Waters
    Saturday, August 15, 2020
    3:30 am
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    MiamiBash (April 18 Pass) with Jhay Cortez, El Alfa, Arcangel
    Saturday, October 3, 2020
    8:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Ana Gabriel
    Saturday, October 10, 2020
    8:00 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Enrique Iglesias with Ricky Martin
    Saturday, October 24, 2020
    7:30 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Cher with Chic (Rescheduled from March 24, 2020)
    Saturday, December 5, 2020
    7:30 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »


    View Seating Chart »