Miami Arena? Yeah, I Miss It

Miami Arena? Yeah, I miss it.

With its small capacity and lack of suites a beancounter’s nightmare, they did get one thing right.

The catwalks. Rafters. Whatever you want to call them. Most of you never looked up there, let alone walked on them. But with their placement, they were perfect for us photographers. For basketball, they crossed right above the rim on both ends. Another pair even lined up perfectly over goal for the Florida Panthers’ first five seasons.

I often mounted a remote over the basket in those days, as evidenced by the shot of James Jones against Providence College in 2000. This image is one of 290 images from the 2000 season I recently uploaded to the Caneshooter Archive. The ‘Canes won the Big East regular season championship that year and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the tournament.

When the ‘Canes moved to the BankUnited Center on campus, our perfect overhead remotes were history. The new building’s catwalks span the outside perimeter of the floor, and only one crosses the court, right above the scoreboard. There is one location for an off-center view of the hoop, and I may try it out this upcoming season.

So despite the inch thick layer of dust, chalk marks of how many bolts were loose and occasional rat, I kind of liked the “old” place. I’m likely the only one.

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