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Miami Marine Stadium Takes the First Step to Revival

The Beloved Miami Gem Gets a Much-Needed Cleanup to Attract Investors
June 02, 2014 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 1 Comment

The Miami Marine stadium is one step closer to a return to glory.

This past Friday over 300 volunteers from 29 states and four countries gathered at Miami’s landmark stadium to take the monumental first step in getting it back on its feet.
After being scheduled for demolition, a grass-roots campaign the led to the formation of the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, which helped earn the stadium designation as a National Treaure in 2012. The graffiti and trash-littered landmark then began the long process of restoration.


Much like a homeless man who needs a shower, fresh haircut and a suit before he can go out and look for work, the Miami Marine Stadium needed some serious cleaning up before being presented to investors.

While the Friends’ master plan calls for a complete restoration, to the point where the stadium can once again host major concerts and boat races, like everything in life that plan costs money. And nobody is going to donate money to a stadium when simply touring the grounds requires a tetanus shot.
Even without obscenities sprayed on its walls and the rusted out sound booth, the broken glass and natural debris littering the stadium made it unwalkable for visitors. And if the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium were going to raise the $40 million they need to achieve their dream, they at least needed to make the place presentable.
Enter Tourism Cares, a service organization made up of executives and employees in the tourism industry who do community service to help improve tourism. Getting wind of the help the historic stadium desperately needed, Tourism Cares organized a national event, recruiting members from all over the country to clean up the stadium, as well as re-landscape and improve several areas on nearby Virginia Key Beach.


Throughout the day volunteers cleared the stadium of decades-old beer bottles, long deceased palm fronds, and other trash left behind by vandals. And without the litter to distract people, one can see the stadium has become a work of art.
While much of the graffiti that litters the stadium is offensive and hideous, street art and beautiful murals also cover much of the dilapidated gem. Making it look like Wynwood upped and dropped itself in the middle of an episode of “Flipper.”

The master plan calls for the preservation of many of these works of art, making the future stadium even more enticing of a venue than the old one.


In the not so-distant future, the 6500 seats will rock once again, and boats will tie up for what will surely become another Miami destination venue. Showing that often, historic preservation is of greater benefit than progress.

“It’s a great thing we’ve done here,” Friends of Miami Marine Stadium co-founder Don Worth said.
“Nobody would ever oppose this publicly, but a lot of the people who built that,” he said, nodding his head towards the concrete jungle that Brickell has become, “wanted to get their hands on this and tried to stop us behind closed doors. But there’s nothing like this in the world. Nothing. This is our Sydney Opera House.”

And you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Sydney would have been better off building condos.

Though the stadium’s ultimate return is a lot or work and a lot more money away, Friday showed that it’s not just Miamians who want to see its return, but tourism professionals nationwide. And with the backing of them, city government, and eventually forward-thinking investors, Miami can do what it so rarely does, and preserve part of its history to make our city stand part.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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1 Comments on

"Miami Marine Stadium Takes the First Step to Revival"

Don Bridges says:

Finally the great Miami Marine Stadium is on the road to recovery!!

Posted on 02/29/2016 at 9:33 AM

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