Miami Heat fans are notorious for arriving late and leaving early — just ask Ray Allen. But heartened by electric crowds during last year’s run to the NBA Finals, Heat ownership is upgrading Kaseya Center with its own money in a two-phased attempt to turn the 24-year-old arena into a must-see, must-stay-all-four-quarters destination.

Calling it a “an electronic and visual face-lift” for the benefit of fans and sponsors, the Heat are quadrupling the size of their corner video boards, adding three levels of LED entrance signs, inundating the concourse with roughly 500 IPTV screens, building a Dr. Jack Ramsay Memorial Broadcast Center for telecasts, and operating it all with a high-tech control management system.

...This summer’s multimillion-dollar upgrades were the most extensive, with a tech-driven Phase 2 scheduled for next summer. The team used CAA ICON as its owner representative, Perkins & Will as its construction architect, and Daktronics for the LED video boards. Add in the success of last season’s playoffs — which Vidalin said led to a “high” sponsor renewal rate — and the venue seems more dynamic than when it debuted as AmericanAirlines Arena in 1999.

“People love taking shots at Miami fans,” said McCullough. “But we could not have a more rabid Heat Nation. When they walk in this season, they’ll have an enhanced experience compared to the last time they walked out. And last time they walked out, we were in the NBA Finals. That’s not a bad experience, and this is going to be better from the start.”

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