American Airlines Arena

This Was Downtown Miami In 1977 - Before & After

The photo on the left is what Downtown Miami looked like in 1977. Brickell Key was just an empty island in the process of development. The site American Airlines Arena is currently on was used as a Port and Bicentennial Park was in its infancy. Fast forward to 2015 and the Frost Museum of Science is under construction and many condos and offices have filled Biscayne Boulevard and the Downtown core. Biscayne Boulevard has also been widened to support the traffic. In both photos the one constant that has remained is the iconic Freedom Tower.

Bonus Photo: Downtown Miami in the 1930's

Video Of Formula E Circuit Layout For Miami ePrix

Miami ePrix Circuit Layout

Racing will finally be back in Downtown Miami since leaving for Homestead in 1995. This Satuday, March 14, 2015 the Formula E Miami ePrix will take place through the streets of Downtown Miami.

The 2.17 km race will start on Biscayne Boulevard, loop around NE 2nd Ave and around the American Airlines Arena. 11 drivers will be in the race that will be 30 laps.

Below is a video of the track layout.

Giant Ferris Wheel Proposed Next To American Airlines Arena

Proposed Location of "Eye on the Bay"

Miami company, Caribe-Miami Corp., headed by Rigoberto Valdes, are trying to build a large 650 foot ferris wheel in Downtown Miami, according to the Miami Herald

The proposed ferris wheel - called "Eye on the Bay" - would be located next to the American Airlines Arena and next to Museum Park over the FEC boat slip. 

The $350 million ferris wheel would have a restaurant, bar with retail shops in the walkway below the structure. However, the company would need permission from the city to build over public land.

Formula E Race Coming To Miami In 2015

Course Track in Downtown Miami

Racing is coming back to Downtown Miami since moving to Homestead in 1995. The FIA Formula E Miami ePRIX will be held on March 14, 2015 using electric cars.

The track will go down Biscayne Boulevard and around the American Airlines Arena.

The race will be 30 laps and include 11 drivers.

Proposal To Build 450 Foot Flag Of Gratitude Behind America Airlines Arena

Proposal Site For 450 Foot Flag of Gratitude

Billionaire Miami resident Mike Fernandez wants to build a 450 foot flagpole with the American flag in Downtown Miami. Inspired by a similar idea in Wisconsin, Fernandez thinks this would be a good addition to Miami.

ExMiami is reporting that Fernandez want to build the Flag on Parcel B, which is taxpayer land and located behind the American Airlines Arena. 

The cost would be between $5-10 million and Fernandez said he would pay the cost for the flag. 

Plans have been submitted to the FAA for approval.

This Is What The American Airlines Arena Looked Like Under Construction

Designed by Miami architect firm Arquitectonica, the American Airlines Arena was built next to Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Boulevard to serve as the home arena for the Miami Heat.

Construction began in 1998 at a cost of $213,000,000. However, there was a hiccup in the construction process when the arena caught fire causing helicopters to dump water to prevent further spreading.

Despite the fire, the arena opened on time in December of 1999 and has been the home to three NBA championships.

Pre-Construction Lot - Photo Credit: Smith Photos

Construction Halfway Done - Photo Credit: Smith Photos

The American Airlines Arena Today

Bonus Photo

American Airlines Arena Catching Fire During Construction - Photo Credit: Scott B. Smith

American Airlines Arena Catching Fire During Construction - Photo Credit: Scott B. Smith