To Watch Basketball in Miami, You’ll Have to Pass the Smell Test


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage a number of international economies, industries predicated on the idea of having people gathered together are struggling mightily.

Bars and restaurants are some of the more obvious establishments who’ve been forced to scratch and claw their way to buoyancy, but live musicians and sports arena are similar affected by the local and state regulations impacting capacities of public spaces.

Now, in an effort to bring at least some ticket revenue back into the equation, the NBA’s Miami Heat will employ a cutting edge method of keeping COVID out:  Man’s best friend.

The Miami Heat are turning to COVID-sniffing dogs to screen fans at the gates.

The Heat been working on the plan for months, and the highly trained dogs have been in place for some games this season where the team has allowed a handful of guests — mostly friends and family of players and staff.

Starting this week, a limited number of ticket holders will be in the seats as well, provided they get past the dogs first.

“If you think about it, detection dogs are not new,” said Matthew Jafarian, the Heat’s executive vice president for business strategy. “You’ve seen them in airports, they’ve been used in mission critical situations by the police and the military. We’ve used them at the arena for years to detect explosives.”

The international airports in both Helsinki and Dubai have already been employing the highly-trained canines to at least some success.