The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s decision to relocate the Miami International Boat Show to the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin was an important first step in the process of restoring this historic site. By all accounts, the boat show was a remarkable success — setting new marks for attendance and sales.
Even more, it brought Miami Marine Stadium back onto the general public’s radar. By hosting a marine event that drew more than 100,000 people to a venue designed specifically for this type of activity, it reminded people what a unique structure the stadium really is — the only stadium in the United States built specifically to hold power boat races.
Perhaps most important, the herculean efforts undertaken by the city of Miami and NMMA to prepare the site served as a powerful demonstration of what is possible when local leaders set a goal and put their full energies behind achieving it.
Now, we call on the Miami City Commission to bring that same resolve and determination to restoring the jewel at the center of this new park. That was the clear message we heard from the more than 4,000 people who signed a petition that the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Dade Heritage Trust made available during the boat show (still available online ).
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In addition to signing the petition on-site, thousands of people shared memories and told us how meaningful the stadium was to them.
Miami should be proud of the boat show’s success due, in no small part, to its majestic backdrop. We call on city commissioners to build on this success by prioritizing the restoration of Miami Marine Stadium in 2016.
Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C.
Christine Rupp, executive director, Dade Heritage Trust, Miami