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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami Arena Being Demolished After Years Of Inactivity Owner Says End Could Come In Two Weeks

Miami Arena Being Demolished After Years Of Inactivity Owner Says End Could Come In Two Weeks

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Written by on July 31, 2008

By Scott E. Pacheco
The Miami Arena could be demolished within two weeks and its Northwest First Avenue site cleared within a month, says building owner Glenn Straub.

And while talk circulates of a first-class soundstage or a home for Cirque du Soleil, Mr. Straub is waiting on perhaps the biggest catch: the Florida Marlins.

"Once we get it leveled we’d like to pursue the baseball," Mr. Straub said.

Demolition crews from BG Group LLC have been clearing the arena’s interior for "several months," leaving just the outer shell. Mr. Straub said outside walls will be brought down without using explosives.

Mr. Straub, a Palm Beach businessman, bought the arena in 2004 for $28 million. The arena, built in 1988 for $52.2 million, was home to the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers. Both moved out and the city eventually sold the building at auction to Mr. Straub.

The 5 acres could be valuable for development, but Mr. Straub has said he would like it to remain a sports venue.

A Marlins stadium at the former Orange Bowl site is part of a $3 billion mega-deal that includes redevelopment of Bicentennial Park. However, if auto magnate Norman Braman’s suit to kill the deal succeeds, Mr. Straub said his site makes the most sense for a ballpark.

"If the judge rules in Braman’s favor, then baseball is going to come back," he said.

Other options include a soundstage, a home for Cirque du Soleil or one of its competitors, or linking the land with other developments on that area’s horizon.

Mr. Straub said he would like to swap his land for the Orange Bowl site — though probably not an even trade depending on appraisals — and use the Orange Bowl site for soccer and equestrian activities.