Five Reasons To Doubt the Future of the Miami Entertainment Complex

Ordinarily, Cultist likes to steer clear of government meetings and politicians (we leave that junk for our Riptide brothers!). So you'll excuse us if we're a bit late in reporting on an important vote (excuse us, we just threw up a little in our mouth) that happened in the last week in the City of Miami. Turns out those knuckleheads approved a cool million bucks to get started on the Miami Entertainment Complex (MEC).

The complex will be a major production venue for TV and film and the building already in place at 29 NW. 13th St., is being used by the crew of Rock of Ages. An auspicious start for sure, and politicos are hailing the MEC as triumphant project before it even gets off the ground. But amid all the celebration surrounding the MEC, it's our job to remind you that while Miami's cultural scene is burgeoning, you shouldn't count your Santeria chickens before they've been slaughtered. Why? Here are five other projects that promised to inject all kinds of good stuff into our cultural lifeblood but ended being problematic, or worse.

5. South Miami-Dade Cultural Center

We hope this close to $40 million baby shoots cultural life into the

southern stretches of Miami-Dade County, but it's definitely wait and

see. After considerable delays

and mishaps the county got its act together with this project and it

just opened - with several dance and theater projects already debuting

this year. But the grand opening is not until October and whether the

project will ultimately be successful is a question to be answered in five

years at the earliest. Until then, we remain cautiously optimistic but

still doubt the county's decision making abilities - we mean, it is

Cutler Bay, after all!

4. Miami Marine Stadium

Don't get us wrong, we love the place and its crazy graffiti and even

crazier architecture. And you know what's even more nuts: it's whole

raison d'être: A marine stadium? That so fucking cool. But, in case you

haven't noticed, the place has been vacant since Hurricane Andrew

(that's 1992 for you young'uns). Even before then the place struggled

with bad luck and bad management since its completion in 1963 - some poor guy

even died there on opening day in powerboat accident. Despite its cool

history (Nixon visited, Phil Donahue hosted a show there, and it once

hosted a Jimmy Buffet concert) and the fact that it's the coolest

eyesore in history, the fact remains - it's still a vacant eyesore!

3. The Miami Arena

Talk about a money pit. The arena, former home of the Miami Heat,

Florida Panthers, and numerous concerts, cost $52 million to build in

1988 (almost $100 million in today's dollars), and lasted only 20 years.

Now it's gone forever, but remains a horrifying ghost story for every

project Miami supports.

2. The Carnival Center

Sure, everybody loves the Arsht Center nowadays, but we're only a couple

of years removed from when the erstwhile Carnival Center needed a $30

million bailout from the Arshts just to become financially stable. Don't

take our word for it, check out what the Gray Lady had to say about it.

1. New Marlins Ballpark

We're still waiting on what corporate monkey is going to attach their

name to this stadium, but what we already know is that no matter how

hard the Marlins try and convince us the stadium is the cat's pajamas

it's creation was a major league boondoggle for Miami residents. Check

out these six reasons

why and they'll convince you to view any new project Miami is pushing

the same way you would a trenchcoat wearing pasty guy in a playground.

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