When Heat isn't making baskets at AmericanAirlines arena Mike Walker's events are making money for HEAT Group
The nights the Miami Heat aren't on the basketball court are those that concern Mike Walker.
As executive vice president of HEAT Group Enterprises, the umbrella that owns the team and AmericanAirlines Arena, it's his job to fill the arena on the team's off nights.
The lights are on about 200 nights a year. With the Heat accounting for 60 of those, depending on how far they go in the playoffs, he and his team have their work cut out for them.
When he first came to Miami in April 2001, after stints at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the arena wasn't doing so well in bringing in non-basketball events.
"It was obvious that the old building was still open and some business was staying there as opposed to coming here," he said. "A lot of it was Latin shows, and I wanted to figure out why didn't they want to come here. The reality was that nobody asked them."
Since then, Mr. Walker said, the venue has become the premier stage for Latin artists in North America outside of New York City.
While making sure the arena hosts a variety of events for South Florida's diverse population, he's also working to bring in large-scale events like the Latin Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards.
Mr. Walker discussed the challenges and opportunities that come with bringing events into one of the region's largest venues at the arena with Miami Today reporter Zachary S. Fagenson.
To read this profile article in its entirety,
subscribe to Miami Today’s E-paper.
With the E-paper you will be able to read
the entire contents of Miami Today online
exactly as it appears in print.
Or order this issue, to receive a regular
printed copy of this week’s Miami
Today. You may also subscribe to the printed
edition of Miami Today to receive the newspaper
every week by mail.
If you are reading this in Miami Today’s “Online
Archive” as an archived web page and
would like to see the entire article that
was published, call Miami Today, 305-358-2663
and ask for the Circulation Department.