Better uses for the public funds that the Heat wants

 

Re the June 16 story Amid Heat mania and mounting costs, team shoots for extended arena lease: How could Micky Arison (with a personal net worth of close to $6 billion, have the audacity to try to renegotiate the lease on the AmericanAirlines Arena with more public subsidies?

The story says that the Heat organization has yet to deliver the first penny to our county. And now they want more. Hey, they’re great partners!

I am a ardent fan of the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. I support the Hurricanes and the other local school sports programs, too. As a certified public accountant, I recognize that the revenue generated from professional sports has a trickle-down effect on the economy.

If the Heat want to renovate, fine — let the team do it on its own dime. Since Miami-Dade County has not received penny one in partnering with the Heat, let’s take that subsidy and give it where its needed.

Here are a few ideas:

•  Call Rev. Ronald Brummitt, president of the Miami Rescue Mission. Ask him what he could do with a few extra million.

•  Have Arison and team tour some inner-city schools. I bet they could easily see some items that could be renovated, replaced or rebuilt.

•  If the county wants to upgrade something, how about bike paths, how about parks?

•  I have coached Little League baseball for more than 20 years. Why can’t the county subsidize entrance fees or equipment for kids whose parents or guardians cannot afford them? Putting a kid on the ball field or basketball court, having them become a cheerleader, keeps them off the street and, potentially, out of trouble.

•  The city of Miami built a great splash park, Grapeland Water Park. I have taken my grandchildren there many times and always have a delightful time. Build one in Homestead, Perrine, Overtown, Little Havana, Miami Gardens or any community in the county that doesn’t have one. It’s great family entertainment and doesn’t cost a family a tenth of the cost of admission to a Heat game, parking, hot dogs and a T-shirt.

Those are just five ideas. Writing them took about the same amount of time for the Tums to settle my stomach after reading that story.

Jack Dresner, Miami

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