Just barely 20 years old and Miami Arena is now, no more. The building that housed the expansion Miami Heat basketball franchise and later the Florida Panthers until 1999 became a pile of dust and rubble as of 8:06 a.m. ET this morning.
Hockey fans will always remember Miami Arena thanks to Scott Mellanby, who, on opening night, killed a rat found inside the dressing and then went out and scored twice. News of the "rat trick" broke a few days later and the "year of the rat" took off.
The Panthers, in only their third season, would eventually reach the playoffs and eliminate Boston, and the top two seed in the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, successively, to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. It was in the finals that the Panthers magic ran out as the Colorado Avalanche, in their first year since moving from Quebec, swept Florida and clinched the Stanley Cup in Miami Arena thanks to Uwe Krupp's goal in the third overtime.
Now with the Miami Heat playing in the American Airlines Arena and the Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center, the "Pink Elephant" (it being a white elephant in the community with pink walls) was expendable and the new owner, Glen Straub, had hopes to lure the Florida Marlins and their pursuit of a new stadium to that land, but the deal does not seem likely to happen.
For more video on the implosion, check out Miami CBS4's video page.
Mario Lemieux Foundation total donation: $150