Discover / Miami Marine Stadium
Save a National Treasure
REGION: South
LOCATION:
Miami, FL
TYPE: Building
Floating by Miami Marine Stadium, an entertainment venue off the Biscayne Bay. | Photo: Rick Bravo
Floating by Miami Marine Stadium, an entertainment venue off the Biscayne Bay. | Photo: Rick Bravo
Opportunity
Restore a premier entertainment venue on the shore of Biscayne Bay.

Overview

Miami Marine Stadium, which has been closed for 20 years, is a sentimental favorite of many Miami residents. Thousands once viewed power boat races here, attended Easter sunrise services, or experienced their first concert under the stadium’s signature cantilevered roof. On any given night, private boats would also surround the floating barge that served as the stadium’s stage. When the 326-foot-long, fold-plate roof was poured in 1963, it was the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world.

National Significance

The 6,566-seat arena is the only stadium in the United States built for the purpose of watching power boat races. It was designed by Hilario Candela, a Cuban-born architect who at age 27 conceived a stadium that is now viewed as a masterwork of civic architecture and modern construction.

Campaign Goals

  • Develop a business plan that will once again make Miami Marine Stadium a flourishing entertainment venue.

Ways To Help

Thank Miami's city leaders for supporting stadium restoration efforts.

Donate to our campaign to save Miami Marine Stadium.

Tell us why Miami Marine Stadium matters to you.

Posted on February 05, 2014

Written by Jason Lloyd Clement, Project Manager

Produced by the Little Gables Group, this video debuted as part of the Coral Gables Museum’s recent exhibition on Miami Marine Stadium. And even though I’ve seen it a hundred times now, it still gives me goosebumps! Check it out for never-before-seen footage of the stadium and a touching interview with architect Hilario Candela. 

Here's my favorite quote from Hilario: “What a privilege I had to do it. What a privilege I’m having of looking at it again. I’m not interested in mummifying the stadium whatsoever. I think we preserve the stadium not to keep it. We keep the stadium to go to the next phase of its life. The stadium should be about fun. It has to happen, because Miami deserves it.”

Please check back often for additional updates on Miami Marine Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on January 15, 2014

Written by Jason Lloyd Clement, Project Manager

Last month was Art Basel and this month was Jimmy Buffett – Miami Marine Stadium is certainly feeling the love! On Thursday, January 9, Jimmy Buffett joined National Trust Board Member Gloria Estefan at the Coral Gables Museum for a sold out celebration of Miami Marine Stadium, a venue they both played at in the 1980s.

During the event, 400+ attendees heard from several different speakers, including National Trust President Stephanie Meeks and stadium architect Hilario Candela, before NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral interviewed both stars about their memories of the stadium and their ideas for its reuse.

Before the event began, Gloria and Jimmy received a special tour of “Concrete Paradise,” the Coral Gables Museum’s critically-acclaimed exhibition on Miami Marine Stadium. The exhibit, which closed this past weekend, had over 8,000 visitors during its three-month run. 

Jimmy closed out the night by playing a set of nine songs with longtime steel drummer player Robert Greenidge. He played: Everybody's Talkin’, Cuban Crime of Passion, Grapefruit Juicyfruit, Son of a Son of a Sailor Feat. Emilio Estefan, Migration, Volcano, No Woman No Cry, A Pirate Looks At 40, and Margaritaville Feat. Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan.

The highlight of the night was, of course, the group rendition of one of Jimmy’s biggest hits – "Margaritaville." Check out this video snippet of the performance, and if you feel compelled, please – by all means – sing along!

Please check back often for additional updates on Miami Marine Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on January 09, 2014

Written by Jason Lloyd Clement, Project Manager

What a morning! The Miami Marine Stadium team has a little extra pep in its step this morning, and not just because tonight is the night for our big celebration with Jimmy Buffett and Gloria Estefan.

We're beaming because coverage of the event is front page news in today's Miami Herald! 

The entire story is incredible, but here is our favorite part in which Jimmy's recalls playing at the stadium: "'I remember very vividly,” Buffett said. “It was the perfect opening act. It put people in a rather festive mood. It was like being in a water carnival. There was space between the barge and the first seats in the grandstand. There were people swimming in there. It was not out of control exactly, but it was rockin’. It was also extremely hot. At one point, I told my stage manager, ‘When this thing’s over, take my guitar, because I’m goin’ in.’ And the rest is Miami Marine Stadium history."

You can catch the full story here: http://hrld.us/19UYCqI

Please check back often for additional updates on Miami Marine Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on December 20, 2013

Written by Jason Lloyd Clement, Project Manager

Few places capture the spirit of South Florida quite like Miami Marine Stadium.

From the roar of hydroplanes to dazzling performances on the bay, it was here that Miami turned its cultural heartbeat into a spectacle the world couldn’t resist.

Join us at the Coral Gables Museum on Thursday, January 9, from 6:30-10:30 PM as we relive those glory days with two legends who once graced the stadium’s dramatic floating stage – Jimmy Buffett and Gloria Estefan.

Hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this celebration will shine a spotlight on these two musical icons as NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral interviews the stars about their memories of the stadium’s past, as well as their hopes for its comeback as a world class sports and performance venue. Jimmy Buffett will close the evening with a short performance.

All guests will receive a one-year membership to the National Trust, as well as free admission to “Concrete Paradise,” the Coral Gables Museum’s critically-acclaimed exhibition dedicated to Miami Marine Stadium. Complimentary cocktails and heavy appetizers will be served throughout the evening. There will also be a silent auction featuring original stadium seats signed by the stars.

Click here to purchase your tickets. All proceeds benefit the National Trust's work to restore the stadium, as well as our host for the evening – the Coral Gables Museum.

Please check back often for additional updates on Miami Marine Stadium. Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

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norman leathers on September 22, 2013
I donate to the campaign to renovate the marine stadium as a gesture to preserve one of the few beautiful architectural structures in Miami and in an outrage against the corrupt political beings who have allowed this travesty to take place under false pretenses of a structure not being stable and too costly to repair.
BRUCE BENSON on September 09, 2013
I REMEMBER GOING THERE AS A KID WITH MY DAD WHEN I WAS ABOUT 6. I THOUGHT IT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER. I WENT THERE FOR MANY YEARS AFTER THAT AND I NEVER GOT TIRED OF WATCHING THE RACES THERE. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER ALL THE GREAT TIMES I HAD THERE. IT HURTS TO SEE ALL OF THE PAINTING AND THE PLACE FALLING APART. I BELEIVE PLACES LIKE THIS AND OTHER OLD LAND MARKS SHOULD BE SAVED. THANKS FOR ALL THE MEMORYS
Catherine on July 14, 2013
I worry about the impact to marine life in the area with added boat traffic, noise, and pollution. I've paddled in that area and often see manatees. I'm also wondering what plans there are to make sure that events are run as green and environmentally friendly as possible, considering it is next to water. For example, what effort will be made to make sure that litter from large crowds at events does not end up in the water? Will items sold be environmentally friendly/biodegradable? Will you ban plastic bottles or straws or styrofoam cups from the stadium? Will you make sure there are no plastic bags in the stadium that can blow into the water and harm marine life? I went paddling today in Fort Lauderdale. From one tiny corner of Victoria Park, I was able to completely fill a laundry basket with litter, mostly plastic water bottles and also styrofoam cups. The stadium should include many many trash and recycling bins, including in the parking lot. Perhaps the stadium could also put up posters encouraging guests to throw away trash properly, etc.? Thanks so much.
Roberto Gadala on May 08, 2013
Marine Stadium is an amazing asset for Miami - for boaters like me it provides a beautiful setting where we can spend the day and wait for the sunset which will in turn reveal the real beauty of the spot - Miami Skyline at night - the view is breathtaking and inspiring. An additional bonus is the fact that the spot offers the perfect space for waterskiing - Unfortunately some political preasure has been applied and now the area has been designated a "No Wake Zone" to favor the row club - regardless of this, the area should be preserved and Miami should take advantage of it again. We can hold concerts, races, waterskiing competitions, exhibitions, etc.
Karen Hutchison on April 24, 2013
I worked at the concession stand when I was in high school. I attended many events held there, long after my high school days. It was such a beautiful structure and so progressive for its' time. What a shame to see it being destroyed from neglect and vandalism. It was not only for locals, but it attracted tourists for the concerts (not all were R&R), boat racing, fire work displays, and worship services....can't it be saved?????? So much history......
alex frias on April 24, 2013
I remember as a kid going their with my family and seeing many different venues from performers to boat races. I would love to be able to share this with my kids. This is a Historic place for me and many others please figure out a way of rebuilding this place
Anon on April 24, 2013
I'd love to see some concerts out there! Just like my aunt did back in the day, but it's going to be quite the scandal when those who actual appreciate all the art that's been put up over the years will probably be replaced by a modern architectural stadium.
William on December 16, 2012
My mom tells me amazing stories about when she used to go there as a kid. I hope I will also get that chance in the future...
Architect Hilario Candela on July 02, 2012
[Taken from an Interview with "Preservation" Magazine] For many years, Miami Marine Stadium has been an iconographic image in Miami. We don’t have many, and I think we need to protect those we have. It’s also one of the only open spaces where all residents can get to the water. We want it to become a gathering place again.

Campaign Overview

Threat: Lack of Funding
Funds Secured:
$ 132,000
Fundraising Goal: $ 222,000
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