Vote expected Thursday on Miami boat show move

City officials are expected to vote Thursday on a plan to spend millions of dollars to improve land near the Miami Marine Stadium in order to prepare it to host the Miami International Boat Show there in 2016, the Miami Herald reported.

The show first announced plans to move in November in conjunction with a large renovation project lead by a non-profit group, the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium. The city of Miami rejected the non-profit's plans just a few weeks ago, but show officials have said all along that they still intended to move the show to the area surrounding the stadium, which has been closed since 1992.

The show has to relocate for renovation of its traditional home at the Miami Beach Convention Center while the center is renovated in 2016 and 2017. During the convention center’s renovation, scheduled to start after the 2015 show, only half of the center will be open at a time. The parking lot, where many companies display as well, will also not be available.

The city's new plan, less ambitious than the one originally proposed in November, calls for the city to invest up to $16 million in improvements to the land surrounding the stadium, but not to the stadium itself. According to to the paper, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which owns the show, would have to sign an agreement to $1.1 million in annual rent to the city plus half of the net on sales of food and parking for the event.

“We’re just really excited about the opportunity and we’re really excited about what we’re going to learn in 2016 and ’17, and possibly beyond,” show manager Cathy Rick-Joule told the Herald. “I see that this will continue to be a part of the Miami International Boat Show in the foreseeable future.”

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