A vintage photograph of the Miami Marine Stadium hosting a boat race in its glory days. Citizens of Miami used to flock to the Marine Stadium for such events. (Photo courtesy of Jorge Ugan)
As students park their cars and buses unload for the day ahead, students walk past the magnificent architectural wonder right next to them.
In its prime, the Miami Marine Stadium hosted many events such as boat races and concerts, but it was shuttered and abandoned in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew struck Miami.
“The Marine Stadium mirrored the cultural heartbeat of Miami, hosting stars like Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, Dave Brubeck, the Beach Boys, and Ray Charles on its dramatic floating stage,” according to the Museum of History Miami.
The Stadium was known for hosting events on a floating stage that would be parked across the bay. The stage is now partly submerged across MAST Academy.
Among the events that took place on the floating stage were boxing matches, music concerts, and even Sunday services.
In Clambake, a 1967 film starring Elvis Presley about an oil tycoon’s heir swapping places with a poor water-skier, there is a scene with Presley racing on the bay behind the Marine Stadium, with the stadium clearly seen in the background.
A plan to restore the Miami Marine Stadium was recently proposed.
A 121 million dollar rehabilitation plan by Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and funded by private investors was turned down by City of Miami officials, who stated that they would pursue their own plan, spending millions of public dollars in the process.
Although Friends of Miami Marine Stadium believed their plan to rehabilitate the Stadium was a go, it soon became clear to them that the city wanted to make a smaller deal that would focus more on stadium improvements and keeping the boat show.
Miami commissioners recently approved a license agreement that would pay the city $1.1 million per year in rent plus more from concessions and parking.