THE HEAT GROUP Named Environmental Innovators Of The Year

MIAMI – The HEAT Group—parent company of the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena—announced today that the franchise has been named the first-ever Environmental Innovators of the Year in the NBA category by the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit collaboration comprised of venue operators, sports team executives and environmental scientists to exchange information about better practices and develop solutions to their environmental challenges that are cost-competitive and innovative. The inaugural award was presented during the sixth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit on June 29, in Houston, Texas.   The Environmental Innovators of the Year honor was presented to one franchise in every major North American team sport including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS and the NCAA for excellence in advancing the sports greening movement. “We’re incredibly proud of being recognized as leaders in the green movement by the Green Sports Alliance,” said Eric Woolworth, President of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “And we pledge to the South Florida community and our fans to continue developing environmentally sound principles and practices.” The award is the latest in a noteworthy two-year span for the AmericanAirlines Arena as it further solidified its reputation as one of the premier venues in the sports and entertainment industry. In 2014, the facility became the first arena in the world to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Recertification by the U.S. Green Building Council for design and energy efficiency (the arena first earned certification in 2009). In 2015, the franchise began construction on an ambitious plan to convert the eastern portion of the arena’s outdoor area into a green and sustainable year-round entertainment venue. As a result, the XFINITY East Plaza made its debut in January 2016 as an environmentally friendly, technologically sophisticated, and fully functional entertainment space. In partnership with NRG Energy, the 34,000 square foot space features a canopy with solar panels ranging 16 to 24 feet in diameter and utilizing Building Integrated Photovoltaic solar technology to offset the arena’s energy consumption. Additionally, the space provides free Internet access and phone charging stations as well as furniture made of recycled milk jugs. “The Environmental Innovators of the Year Awards holds a special place in my heart,” said Green Sports Alliance Board Chair Scott Jenkins. “I am honored to represent the Green Sports Alliance today to recognize the work the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena have done to champion sustainability.”