HEAT, AmericanAirlines Arena to Unveil Major Upgrades on Opening Night

Fans Will Be Treated to Many Exciting Improvements and Amenities Enhancing the Fan Experience
HEAT Great Tim Hardaway To Have His Jersey Retired in a Special Pre-Game Ceremony 

MIAMI, 10/27As the Miami HEAT prepares to usher in the 2009-10 season versus the New York Knicks during the home opener on Wednesday, October 28, HEAT fans will be treated to an upgraded and improved fan experience. Already widely recognized as a “best practice franchise” throughout the Sports and Entertainment industry, the HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena are poised to expand upon their award-winning performance. From the graphics and video projected on MiamiMediaMesh in front of AmericanAirlines Arena to the completely rebranded Bacardi Grand Entrance (Gates 1 and 2) to the Sony high definition upgrade of all arena video displays—feeling the HEAT Experience live will now be an entirely revitalized and enhanced affair. In addition, a HEAT legend will receive the highest honor a team can bestow on a player. Individual tickets start as low as $10 dollars and can be purchased by logging onto HEAT.com. 

The front of the AmericanAirlines Arena now boasts the largest, most dynamic digital LED display in the Southeast region of the United States. MiamiMediaMesh was unveiled earlier this year and is the first-of-its-kind energy-efficient digital media façade, which blends seamlessly with the Arena architecture. MiamiMediaMesh covers 3,400 square feet of the Arena’s west face, visible from downtown Miami’s busy Biscayne Boulevard. HEAT fans will be greeted by the giant LED spectacular, which will showcase corporate sponsor messaging, promote upcoming HEAT games and Arena events, play high definition game highlights and videos, and frequently incorporate interesting elements and promotions such as broadcasting Twitter messages and live video feeds during HEAT games. 

Bacardi Grand Entrance
The main Arena entrances—Gates 1 and 2—have been rechristened the Bacardi Grand Entrance as part of their multi-year marketing partnership with the team and Arena. The concept for the Bacardi Grand Entrance was developed through a partnership with Bruce Mau Design, an innovation firm with studios in Chicago and Toronto that uses design to reinvent products, brands, and experiences. The firm, which has designed the fan experience from street to seat for several major sports teams and their arenas, developed an innovative design system that combines a variety of technologies to customize visuals and signage for each event at AmericanAirlines Arena.  

The Bacardi Grand Entrance features an impressive three-story high wall projection that is fully customizable. Twelve Sony 42” video displays will be positioned in a unique arrangement at each entrance and will be programmed with Sony’s proprietary ZIRIS software system, which enables the HEATV production crew and Bacardi to tailor graphics and messaging for each engagement, giving fans a fun, high-tech and interactive encounter the minute they step foot in the Arena. 

Dewar’s Suite Level
HEAT premium seat holders will enjoy the new Dewar’s Suite Level, complete with rebranded elevator landings that include interesting video configurations, renovated flooring and wall treatments highlighting the Dewar’s brand.

MyHEAT House for Season Ticket Holders @ Section 115
The Season Ticket Services booth outside of Section 115 has been renovated for the benefit of the team’s most loyal audience. A large investment was made to upgrade the area including a “dedication wall” inside the booth recognizing the 20+ years HEAT Season Ticket Holders, recognition of 10-year HEAT Season Ticket Holders on the column just outside the booth’s entrance, a business center for assistance with online account management, cherry wood millwork throughout the booth, mosaic tile finish, marble baseboards, authentic wood flooring with the same center logo as the actual game court, prominent light boxes for creative graphics or promotional and advertisement messages, sleek and modern style furniture for consultation, and a 42” flat screen Sony HDTV. The space will be formally unveiled in mid November. 

High Definition Changeover
The AmericanAirlines Arena has undergone a comprehensive Sony HD changeover, thereby serving as a prototype for other arenas across the country looking to follow suit and convert existing audio/visual equipment and upgrade experiential fan operations.  

The changeover to a complete HD facility includes a full HD control room including Sony HD cameras, a switcher, recording devices and displays, as well as more than 500 Sony professional displays throughout the Arena, including in the concourse levels, suites, HEAT team store, locker rooms, executive offices and event level rooms.  Fans will experience a new, central nine-foot tall by 15-foot wide HD scoreboard and new LED ribbon boards. New HD digital food menu boards will replace static menu boards at the concession stands, offering customizable menu options and specials that can be modified instantly, as well as the ability to offer menus in both English and Spanish. In addition, fans will be able to better navigate the concourses with new digital wayfinding signage. Features debuting after Opening Night include an interactive, digital aquarium promoting Carnival Cruise Lines, plus two new sports centers that will feature clusters of video displays that will continuously broadcast sports programming.  

The AmericanAirlines Arena upgrade marks the debut of Sony’s new ZIRIS web-based software system, making AmericanAirlines Arena one of the most technologically sophisticated venues in the country and the first venue of any kind to implement the ZIRIS software in the United States. The ZIRIS software, combined with the Sony monitors, allows the Arena to create high-impact visual displays as well as flexible digital signage systems. 

Hardaway Jersey Retirement
On the court, longtime HEAT great Tim Hardaway’s number 10 jersey will be retired during a special celebration prior to the game. Hardaway will become just the second HEAT player to have his jersey retired, joining former teammate Alonzo Mourning whose number 33 jersey was retired on Mar. 30, 2009. The HEAT will honor Hardaway with a special pre-game video presentation and jersey retirement ceremony, where his jersey will be placed in the rafters alongside banners for Mourning and former team trainer Ron Culp and the HEAT’s division, conference, and NBA championship banners at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Twenty thousand commemorative Tim Hardaway posters will be distributed to fans in attendance courtesy of Doctors Hospital. 

The Miami HEAT is proud to welcome Assist-Card as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2009-10 season.