Home Articles How Much Tourism do the Miami Heat Bring to Florida?

How Much Tourism do the Miami Heat Bring to Florida?


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States and attracts millions of fans to games every season. There are several teams within the National Basketball Association that enjoy a huge fan base, with the Miami Heat being up there with the best of them. There is no doubt having a top basketball team can attract tourists but how much tourism does the Miami Heat bring to the state of Florida?

Founded in 1988, Miami Heat has won three championships and they first became contenders under the guidance of head coach Pat Riley in the 1990s. However, it was not until 2006 that Miami Heat won its first NBA Championship, with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal as the stars of the team.

Four years later, Wade was joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh to create the ‘big three’ and together they led the Heat to four straight NBA Finals, tasting success in both 2012 and 2013.

During these years, and with big-name players such as Wade, O’Neal, LeBron, and Bosch, Miami Heat started to attract fans in big numbers. People wanted to attend Miami Heat games purely to see these players in action and that certainly helped to attract more tourism to the state.

Faith Based Events

Fast forward to 2021 and there could soon be another reason for basketball fans to visit Florida. At the time of writing, there are no legal options for sports betting in Florida, but state legislators do seem interested in legalizing wagering in the state and that would be another boost to the tourism sector.

With Pointsbet looking to launching in two new states, could this be one of the online sports wagering brands to make it big in Florida?

Despite not having won the NFL Championship since 2013, Miami Heat continues to be a successful team and a draw for basketball fans from across the world. The team has won both Conference and Division titles as recently as 2020 and continues to hold the record for the NBA’s third-longest winning streak, set at 27 straight games during the 2012/13 season.

Miami is home to some of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. Miami Beach is perhaps the most famous and features soft sand beaches, great nightlife, and the Art Deco historic district. The Everglades National Park, which is located just a short drive from Miami, is another crowd puller. The swamplands cover roughly 1.5 million acres and boast fantastic wildlife, including crocodiles, snakes, alligators, and birds.

You will find Bayside Marketplace, Little Havana, Bayfront Park, Jungle Island, Deering Estate, and Coral Castle all listed on tourism websites as the places to visit in and around Miami. However, on the same lists, you will also find basketball games at the American Airlines Arena. This is the home of the Miami Heat and is located on Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami. Listed as one of the best things to do in Miami, it is easy to see why the Heat attracts so many tourists to the state.