The City of Miami recently announced that it will collaborate with Heineken to help crowdfund the “Save Your Seat” campaign to restore the Miami Marine Stadium, and while it was great to see their commitment for restoration, what was noticeably missing was a sustainable plan for funding and activation of the site for public use.
The goal of the campaign, according to its crowdfunding website, is to raise $100,000 to remove and repurpose the stadium’s dilapidated seats. Yet it does very little to address the $40 million that will be needed to actually fund the renovation of the stadium to its former glory.
While it is great to build enthusiasm and engage the community, the crowdfunding campaign is sadly another reminder that when it comes to the Marine Stadium & Park, the city has yet to make any real progress.
The truth is that despite the fanfare, no plans for restoration have been formalized and no funds have been allocated. At the same time, the city continues to support special events like the Miami International Boat Show, which cost taxpayers more than $14 million and left them with little more than a concrete parking lot.
The Miami-Dade community is tired of false starts and broken promises, and deserves a prudent approach to restoration and revitalization of this historic property. It also deserves city leadership that will prioritize public access over private commercialization — something that has not been addressed or discussed in their plans for the Marine Stadium & Park, despite promises made.
The crowdfunding campaign is a small step in the right direction, and I will be requesting that the Village of Key Biscayne consider contributing to it. But to be truly effective, it needs to be done in conjunction with a larger commitment for funding the full restoration — and for creating public green space around it.
Mayra Peña Lindsay,
Mayor of the Village of Key Biscayne