Photo taken from the upper level of American Airlines Arena during a Miami Heat home game.

Image Credit: Bob B. Brown (CC BY-ND 2.0)

American Airlines Arena is located in sunny Miami, Florida which actually seems to hinder the arena's attendance. Though our staff has never attended a game at American Airlines Arena, we often hear statements about why the venue seems to be half-full or lifeless compared to other NBA arenasIt can't be the team; Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are in the Heat lineup and comprise one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. The lack of attendance could actually be the result of a number of factors.

Transplanted Fans and Retirees

Miami's residents are from many other countries and states; not everyone is a basketball fan nor is everyone a Miami Heat fan. Just because a person is a New York Knicks fan living in Boston does not mean they attend Boston Celtics games with regularity. 

Ticket Prices

Attending any NBA game is not cheap with the average ticket price at $48 league-wide. When you plan on purchasing food or alcohol at American Airlines Arena, you can bet you will be paying the same prices you will pay at popular Miami night spots. The city is a tourist hot spot and often overcharges tourists. Without getting too much into the politics of the city, there isn't much of a middle class in Miami, either. 

Other Things To Do In Miami

The Miami Heat have similar attendance problems to the Miami Marlins. For the most part, Miami tourists want to engage in other activities when visiting Miami including shopping, boating, sight seeing, partying, dining out. Attending Miami Heat games is actually very low on the totum poll in a state and city that is known for it's football. In fact, nearly every professional sports franchise in the state of Florida struggles with attendance with the exception of the Miami Dolphins. The NHL has entertained the idea of relocating the Florida Panthers more than once over the years. 

Like any other stadium or arena, the attendance heats up when the team reaches the playoffs. As much as the die hard fans hate this type of fairweather fanhood, it's inevitable and every American city with a professional sports team is subject to it. 


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