The deteriorating Miami Marine Stadium has received a lot of coverage in recent years as its proponents, known as Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, seek to have it rehabilitated. The basics are this:
- Designed by Hilario Candela, the 6,566 seat stadium was built in 1963 on Virginia Key near downtown Miami with a corresponding basin for power boat racing. The Modernist building partially hangs over the water and features a concrete, cantilevered roof.
- It has a unique history, which includes serving as a filming location for Elvis Presley’s 1967 movie “Clambake” and the site of a political rally in which Sammy Davis Jr. embraced Richard Nixon.
- After Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, engineers said it was unstable and the city of Miami shuttered it. It has since become a haven for graffiti artists and vandals.
- Calls for reviving the Miami Marine Stadium reached a crescendo in the late 2000s, and it was on both the World Monuments Fund Watch List and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
- Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado supports revitalizing the stadium, and original architect Candela has been working with University of Miami architectural students to create potential new uses for the stadium.
- In April 2010, the Miami-Dade County Commission agreed to appropriate $3 million toward the stadium’s rehabilitation if the city can come up with a feasible new use, a solid financial plan, and the rest of the money toward the project, estimated at upward of $8.5 million.
The Miami Marine Stadium appears on the path to rehabilitation, but it’s not there yet. A viable use for the stadium must be chosen, and there’s the ever present bureaucratic red tape to cut through. The Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium have a goal of a December 2012 reopening. Stay tuned.