Heat to stay in Miami additional 10 years

Team would pay $26 million in new rent money


MIAMI – There's good news for Heat fans -- the love affair between South Florida and the Heat may be around for years and years to come.

"For almost two years, I guess, we've been negotiating with Miami-Dade County to extend our agreement to play here at the American Airlines Arena and we are now in the process of finalizing that agreement to stay her for an addition 10 years, which is 25 more years," said Heat Business President Eric Woolworth.

The 10-year extension would cost Miami-Dade County a total of $147 million, which Woolworth said they will use to make improvements to the American Airlines Arena and make sure they maintain a top-notch product on the court.

"It makes us feel good about the kinds of decisions we need to make this summer and beyond, committing to keeping the kind of product we've had," said Woolworth. "It's one piece of a puzzle that will hopefully allow that to happen."

In turn, the Heat would pay $26 million in new rent money. While Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez admits he is not sold on any deal, he said that additional money would be used for county parks.

"What I think it means for Heat fans is we are in the process of securing our future and feeling confident about cost certainty, feeling confident about staying here," said Woolworth.

The County Commission will have to vote on the contract extension.