After more than 20 years of sitting in disrepair, Miami Marine Stadium is now closer than ever to returning to its former glory after the City of Miami Commission voted yesterday to give control of the stadium's renovation to a nonprofit group.
Now they just need $20 million.
With help from a prerecorded video by Gloria Estefan and a detailed plan, the Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium easily swayed the commission to a 4-1 vote. (Frank Carollo was the dissenting vote. He thinks the plan should have been approved by public referendum.)
Miami Marine Stadium, located off the Rickenbacker Causeway, was built in 1963 as a one-of-kind venue for the viewing of powerboat racing. It suffered damage during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and has remained close since, and it has been threatened with demolition numerous times. But in 2009, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" and preservation efforts have been underway in earnest ever since.
Friends of the Marine Stadium now have two years to raise the $30 million total for the renovation plan. They already have $10 million in the bank (including $3 million from the Miami-Dade Preservation Fund). According to the Miami Herald, state lawmakers in the area hope to get anywhere from $500,000 to $1.5 million in state funding approved next year. But the vast majority of the money will come from private sources, and the group plans to move forward in securing those funds now that they have the city's blessing.
However, the full development and operation plan will still need to come before the city commission for final approval.