Miami is a wonderful city. Thousands of tourists choose it for its fine sandy beaches and warm weather. It has a great leisure offer and a good part of it is due to its sports teams. The NBA has a franchise in the city and it would be a shame to return home without having seen the greats of the sport.
What NBA games can you watch in Miami?
In Florida's most famous city, professional basketball arrived only in 1988 with the emergence of the Miami Heat. Despite the short history, it didn 't take long for them to win their first title. From 1996 to 2000 they triumphed in the Atlantic Division and in 2006 they took home their first ring.
The first NBA triumph was the signature of the duo Shaquille O'Neal and Dwayne Wade. These two American giants were not the only ones. Between 2010 and 2014, the star of LeBron James shone in Miami. After four seasons, the balance sheet leaves no doubt: four Finals, two NBA titles and two regular season and Finals MVPs.
Now that the Miami Heat are part of the world's basketball elite, they are worth watching live. The "Magic City" team plays its home games at FTX Arena, a stone's throw from the ocean.
Where to buy NBA tickets in Miami?
Look no further. Official tickets are on sale at Hellotickets. There are dozens of things to see and do in Miami and it is preferable to book NBA tickets in advance to avoid wasting precious time during your vacation. You will have the security of purchasing official tickets by receiving them conveniently on your smartphone.
The FTX Arena box office is only open on game day from 3 hours before kickoff. It gets pretty hot in Miami and I'm sure you won't want to wait in line outside the sports arena.
How much does it cost to watch an NBA game in Miami?
The United States is not a cheap country and to watch a live sporting event you will have to get used to putting your hand on your wallet. However, prices are not as high as you might think. A seat with a good position (and visibility on the field) is usually around 90 €.
How to save on NBA tickets in Miami
A vacation in the United States does not come cheap and therefore it is useful to know a few tips to save on Miami Heats tickets:
- The seats located in the corners are somewhat cheaper than those in the central area
- The prices are very affordable are in the farthest area of the field which is in the upper part of the arena (from section 401 to 420)
- If the opponent is not in the NBA Gotha, you can find offers around 30 ¤ per ticket (sometimes even less!).)
- The NBA preseason is much less expensive than the Regular Season. As usual, the big name players stay on the bench and this is reflected in the ticket prices. In addition, it can be the opportunity to see the young talents that will take the NBA by storm in the future
. Otherwise, the same advice applies to the rest of the teams: choose the games during the week and buy your tickets well in advance.
What are the best seats at FTX Arena?
The most loyal fans have no doubt: the best seats are in sections 106/107 and 118/119. To be more specific, in sections 106 and 118, the higher seats are more desirable while in sections 107 and 119, the lower seats guarantee a better view.
An honorable mention goes to the Dewars Club. Specifically, they are on the second level, between the lower and upper sections. The first 10 rows in sections 101 to 124 guarantee access to this area of the stadium. If you can, reserve a seat near the front rail, you'll have the best view of the court.
Can I visit FTX Arena if I'm not going to a game?
Sorry, this is not possible. The FXT Arena does not organize guided tours. When no events are taking place, the Arena staff performs facility maintenance. If you are passionate about basketball, you can console yourself by visiting or doing the following attractions/activities:
- Miami Heat Store, the official team store. Ideal if you want to buy jerseys, hats, sweatshirts and much more. It is located on the ground floor of the arena (601 Biscayne Boulevard)
- Grails, in case you can't compare tickets for the FXT Arena. This bar/restaurant broadcasts all NBA games and is known for its good atmosphere. It's also known for the Sneaker Cocktail, a drink you drink straight from a shoe. Awesome, right? (2800 N Miami Avenue)
- Play basketball with the locals. There are a few courts in the city where you can practice this exciting sport. The best are at Margaret Pace Park, Coconut Grove (2845 Brickell Avenue) and Palm Island Park (159 Palm Avenue, Miami Beach).
When to watch a Miami Heat game
The NBA season stops only during the summer - games are still played even on holidays like Christmas! In any case, the brief list below summarizes the playing seasons:
- Preseason - takes place between the end of September and the beginning of October. It serves to prepare for the championship and can be a good option, especially if the team, in this case the Miami Heats, has interesting youngsters and wants to rescue itself after a season below expectations
- Regular Season - 82 games (half away and half at home). Usually starts in early October and ends in late April
- All Star Game - an event that keeps millions of Americans glued to the television. It is a weekend of three-point shooting, slam dunks and a challenge between two teams made up of the best players from the Eastern and Western Conference. It is held every year during the month of February
- Playoff - 8 teams from each conference compete for access to the finals. They follow the structure of a small tournament
- Final - the game that delivers the ring. To win it, four games (out of seven) must be won.
The games that set the fans' hearts aflame are those with the Orlando Magic. It is a true derby since only 230 miles divide the two cities, a short distance if we think about the size of the United States. The balance of the encounters rewards the Miami team, although they also suffered some important defeats.
As is often the case, this sporting clash has earned a nickname: "The Sunshine State rivalry". On these occasions, the FTX Arena vibrates like never before. However, Miami Heats have other "enemies":
- Indiana Pacers. Florida is a loved and hated state in the United States. Miami gets a lot of media attention while Indiana goes unnoticed. This disparity doesn't sit well with the Pacers and the games tend to be very "spirited". Only for strong hearts
- Boston Celtics, it's a recent thing but when players of the caliber of LeBron James and Ray Allen are involved, it's hard to be indifferent
- New York Knicks, two teams with a very similar trajectory. Most wins (or losses) are decided by very few points. It's a story that has been the same since the first meeting!
- Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban, owner of the Texan franchise, went so far as to say that hate wasn't a big enough word to describe his dislike for the Miami Heat. With an owner like that, there's no need to add to it.
How long is an NBA game?
NBA games are played in four halves and there is a 15-minute break between the second and third halves. Unlike European leagues, each half consists of 12 minutes (instead of 10). For this reason, the actual playing time is 48 minutes, but counting foul breaks and time-outs, it can easily exceed an hour and a half.
Do children pay admission to the FTX Arena?
For all home games, children under the age of two are admitted free of charge. Minors must be accompanied by an adult (with a valid ticket) and must share a seat with a parent or companion. To avoid problems, it is advisable to bring a document such as a birth certificate.
Are there games at Christmas time?
Yes, there are still games during the month of December. What's more, the schedule is usually quite tight and this leads to a better chance of finding a good ticket. If you are traveling to Florida at this time of year, I recommend reading the post on 10 things to see and do in Miami at Christmas.
When the time is approaching, don't get caught off guard! Here are some useful tips to organize your day.
Where to eat
If you don't want to waste time, I recommend you to opt for the restaurants in the stadium. If you're in the mood for fast food, you can grab a hot dog at Downtown/Uptown Dog (sections 112 and 407) or a chicken burger at Chicken Ciao (sections 108 and 309). Got a craving for Mexican food? Then the destination is Bodega (sections 108, 124 and 303).
If you don't want to wait to be inside the FTX Arena, you can have lunch or dinner at the following establishments:
- Esotico Miami, a corner of Hawaii in Florida. Actually, its cuisine is more eclectic and fuses the classics of the archipelago with Asian and Latin American specialties (1600 NE 1st Avenue #102)
- Eleventh Street Pizza, New York style pizza two steps away from the FTX Arena. At the restaurant you also have the option to try a slice (or more) instead of a whole pizza (1035 N Miami Avenue)
- Black Market, an establishment with a varied menu. Here you can try a crispy chicken sandwich, pulled pork, nachos, mac n' cheese and more (401 Biscayne Blvd Unit 225-N)
- Jaguar Sun, an elegant restaurant famous for both oysters and pasta dishes. It also has a good cocktail menu. In my opinion, it's a good place to go after the game
- Lost Boy, known for happy hours and drinks (157 E Flagler Street).
Where to park
Have you booked a rental car, are you staying outside of Miami and can't use public transportation? In this case, you can leave your car in the following parking lots:
- Bayside Marketplace. On the occasion of some special events, a valet parking service is also available. You can find more information on the official website (401 Biscayne Boulevard)
- Ultra Park LLC, the closest parking lot to the FTX Arena. Once dropped off, it's less than a five-minute walk (700 Biscayne Boulevard).
When to go to the stadium?
To avoid lines and enjoy the game, it is advisable to arrive well in advance. In case you have a little time, you can take a short walk to Spanish Navy Plaza, a public square in downtown Miami, or the Giant Head Statue, a large sculpture representing a face.
The FTX Arena is the most important sports venue in South Florida. Therefore, a good and secure connection is a must inside the arena. This way, fans can replay outgoing action and check live stats. All you have to do is select the network among those available and proceed to the identification.
How to get to FTX Arena
The home of the Miami Heats is located just steps away from the marina and the Freedom Tower. To get there you can opt for a free option: the monorail. In the Florida metropolis, this means of transportation is called Metromover. The line that comes closest to the stadium is the Inner loop. From downtown, just get off at the Freedom Tower stop.
Alternatively, there are two other Metromover lines: Brickell Loop and Inner Loop. In both cases, just get off at the College North stop and walk for less than 10 minutes.