BankUnited Center gets okay for alcohol sales, expansion

By Allison Dobin….
After almost eight years since its opening in 2003, the BankUnited Center (BUC) on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, finally has filled in the missing puzzle pieces to truly make it the “Best Mid-Size Venue in the World.” Effective Dec. 1 the BUC will be able to serve beer, wine, and alcohol to guests of legal age for adult-oriented shows and events.

As part of a $22 million growth and development pact made between the University of Miami and Coral Gables city leaders, the BankUnited Center also was granted the ability to increase its permanent seating from its current 7,972 seats to 9,830 seats. This expansion will allow for bigger sold-out shows, concerts, and sporting events.

“It should be clearly understood that neither the University of Miami nor the building’s management, Global Spectrum, is attempting to push alcohol,” said Patrick L. McGrew, general manager of the BankUnited Center.

“This historic vote by the city commission simply allows the BankUnited Center to compete on an even playing field in attracting topnotch quality entertainment to the campus and to the City of Coral Gables. We will remain vigilant in ensuring safe and responsible service to only those of legal drinking age.”

With these new building additions, the BankUnited Center will become the “must play” venue in attracting bigger name artists and major events in South Florida. By incorporating the responsible sale of alcohol for adult-oriented events, the BUC will provide artist management and promoters with every key competitive factor that they would want or need, making the venue the most cost effective and best play in the area compared to its competitors.

With its unparallel sight lines that provide the closest proximity to a performer on stage in the South along with an intimate setting that allows for personalized customer service, the BankUnited Center continues to live up to its reputation as the “Best Mid-Size Venue in the World.”

Upcoming concerts in which the new alcohol policy will take effect include Barry Manilow on Jan. 29, 2011. Tickets for Barry Manilow are available currently at, BankUnited Center Box office, or by calling 1- 800-745-3000.

The BankUnited Center is located at 1245 Dauer Dr. in Coral Gables.

For information call 305-284-8686 or visit online at

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