Miami approves funding for new boat show location

The city of Miami has approved a plan to spend up to $16 million on the grounds outside the Miami Marine Stadium, clearing the way for the Miami International Boat Show to relocate there in 2016 and 2017.

According to the Miami Herald, the funds will pay for improvements to a 15-acre area outside the waterfront stadium, including seven undeveloped acres that will be paved, lined with utilities and covered with artificial turf.The plan doesn't include any funding for renovation of the stadium itself, which has been closed since 1992.

The deal also calls for the show to pay city $1.1 million per year in rent plus half of net concessions and parking sales from the show.

The show first announced plans to move in November in conjunction with a larger 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 officials at the National Marine Manufacturers Association remained optimistic they could still move the show to the area surrounding the stadium.

The show was forced to relocate because of renovation plans at its current home at the Miami Beach Convention Center. 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 renovations are expected to last until 2017.

“The City Commission’s approval was the final step in creating a new location for the world’s premier boat show beginning in 2016. In 2016, the Miami International Boat Show will mark 75 years in Miami, and I’m not sure there’s a better way to commemorate the significance of this historic annual tradition than by bringing the show to Miami Marine Stadium Park, uniting two of Miami’s most celebrated boating destinations,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “With its deep water basin, plentiful water access, availability and ease of parking, transient dockage, and water taxis, Miami Marine Stadium Park will add a new level of excitement to the boat show, while paving the way for the restoration of one of the City’s treasured public lands.”

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