The city of Miami will borrow $45 million to restore the historic Miami Marine Stadium.
The park and basin surrounding the stadium is the home of the Miami International Boat Show. Show organizers have said they hope to someday incorporate a restored stadium into the show. The stadium has been closed since being damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
"We are delighted to see plans for the renovation of Miami Marine Stadium proceeding, and proud to have played a role in getting the Stadium renovation project to this point by bringing the Miami International Boat Show to this location," NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in an email to Boating Industry. "We look forward to the return of boating and other water-related events to this iconic venue."
Miami commissioners voted Thursday to borrow the money to fund a remodel of the stadium, as well as pay for a 35,000-square-foot maritime, the Miami Herald reported.
“This is a great day for Miami Marine Stadium and for the millions of people in South Florida who love this important place,” Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, told the paper. The vote “represents the critical financial commitment needed to bring the stadium back to life as the focal point of Virginia Key.”
The revamping of the stadium is part of a larger plan the city hopes to undertake to remake Virginia Key, including an earlier plan to redesign, rebuild and run two marinas along the Marine Stadium Basin.
Earlier this year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation also launched a crowdfunding campaign in conjunction with Heineken to raise funds for the restoration. The “Save Your Seat” campaign raised more than $110,000 for the effort.
“This is a great day for Miami Marine Stadium and for the millions of people in South Florida who love this important place," Heineken USA CEO Ronald den Elzen said in an email to Boating Industry. "When we named Miami Marine Stadium a National Treasure in 2012, our goal was to ensure that future generations will be able to experience this remarkable place – one that captures the spirit of South Florida like no other structure. That is why we are so happy with today’s action, as it represents the critical financial commitment needed to bring the stadium back to life as the focal point of Virginia Key. We applaud the important step taken today and stand ready to work with the city of Miami to make this restoration a reality.”