AmericanAirlines Arena opens new outdoor plaza development


AmericanAirlines Arena will officially unveil a new entertainment venue in downtown Miami, Florida – the Xfinity East Plaza – on January 31, 2016, when NBA team the Miami Heat take on the Atlanta Hawks. The Xfinity East Plaza is a 23,000ft2 outdoor space located on the east side of the arena, which provides impressive views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. The Plaza – which was previously uncovered but underutilized primarily because of Miami’s year-round sun and propensity for tropical storms – is now an environmentally friendly, technologically sophisticated, and fully functional entertainment space. This project is the product of a clean energy partnership with NRG, the official alternative energy partner of the Miami Heat and AmericanAirlines Arena.

On the Xfinity East Plaza, guests can enjoy cocktails and spirits at the Bacardi Bar, food from local eateries at Pincho Factory and Philly Cheesesteaks, live music and/or entertainment, a variety of seating options, three Miami Heat store retail kiosks (selling jerseys, kids merchandise and court culture apparel), and a kiosk dedicated to New Era caps.

Also for the first time, Xfinity wi-fi will be available for free on the Xfinity East Plaza. Fans can now use the high-speed wireless internet service to stay connected on their mobile devices, post on social media sites or stream their favorite entertainment. The Plaza also features phone charging stations located in the Xfinity Zone. A live feed of Heat games and Plaza entertainment will be displayed on a high-definition, 16 x 9ft LED video board.

“We’ve been sitting on this great outdoor space for 16 years and it came to a point where we felt it was time to cover it and extend our concourse outdoors into beautiful Miami,” said Eric Woolworth, president of The Heat Group’s business operations. “Our partners in this venture – NRG, Xfinity and Bacardi – helped us to transform, rather dramatically, an underused space into an elegant, vibrant, sustainable venue.”

“We are very excited to showcase the best of entertainment and technology to all of the fans that experience the new Xfinity East Plaza,” said Thomas Zemaitis, vice president of sales and marketing for Comcast Florida. “Fans today want to be connected to their favorite online content all the time – whether it’s to stay up to date on the latest NBA scores or follow along social media. With the new high-speed Xfinity wi-fi service, fans visiting the Xfinity East Plaza will be able to get online and surf on their mobile devices for free.”

“This unique project brings together the passion of the Miami Heat and cutting-edge energy design that complements the mission of the AmericanAirlines Arena to create an inspiring and exciting venue,” added Rob Gaudette, SVP, business solutions, NRG. “Driving smarter, cleaner energy solutions and creating a functional space serves fans of all kinds while supporting both sustainability and economic growth.”

“We are thrilled to join forces with the AmericanAirlines Arena to bring exciting experiences and epic parties to Miami Heat fans, and more importantly, delicious cocktails from the beautiful new Bacardi Bar on the East Plaza with a killer view,” said Fabio Di Giammarco, global vice president for Bacardi. “We have big plans for entertainment, giveaways and other surprises for fans that will make each game night a special one they won’t want to miss.”

The venue also has a 720ft², bi-level performance stage outfitted with unique LED lighting as well as a special-effects lighting truss and a 70,000W audio system. Five NanoLumens deliver clear imagery into the Plaza creating an eye-catching visual environment.

The Xfinity East Plaza’s roof is also an energy efficient solar array and adds a modern architectural flair to the 16-year-old arena. The solar array is dotted throughout with 14 translucent solar panels, which utilize building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar technology, allowing for the offset of energy consumption.

In addition, most of the all-weather seating (lounge chairs, sofa seating, coffee and side tables, and picnic tables and benches) on the Xfinity East Plaza is environmentally sustainable and made from both 80% recycled aluminum and 100% recycled plastic.

The unveiling of the Xfinity East Plaza is the latest example of The Heat Group’s commitment to environmentally sound principles and practices. In January 2015, AmericanAirlines Arena became the first sports and entertainment facility in the world to receive LEED Gold recertification, cementing its status as an international leader in operational sustainability.

January 29, 2016

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