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.
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.
- Develop a business plan that will once again make Miami Marine Stadium a flourishing entertainment venue.
Ways To Help
Email Miami city commissioners and ask them to support stadium restoration efforts.
Donate to our campaign to save Miami Marine Stadium.
Tell us why Miami Marine Stadium matters to you.
Written by Jason Lloyd Clement, Project Manager
Since Miami Marine Stadium was named a National Treasure last year, I've had the distinct pleasure (when is going to Miami not a pleasure?) of visiting the stadium on two separate occasions. Both times, the same thing happened to me: the unreal view of the city from the stadium's seats stopped me dead in my tracks and rendered me utterly speechless. I know people use this expression all the time, but in this case, it is very true: you have to see this place to believe it!
As project manager, nothing would make me happier than to bring each and every one of you down to MIA with me, but I was thinking that maybe we could just start with Flickr. Check out this inspiring gallery of photos below, and if you haven't already, join us in urging Miami's city leaders to help save the stadium. The time is now to take action for this modern masterpiece on the water!
Written by Karen Nickless, Project Manager
Calling all stadium lovers: it's time to take action!
Our local partner, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium (FMMS), has been fighting to save Miami Marine Stadium since February 2008, when the City of Miami unveiled a master plan for the Virginia Key that did not include the beloved structure. In response, Don Worth (a local preservationist who loves the stadium), Jorge Hernandez (a National Trust board memeber), and Hilario Candela (the stadium’s architect) formed FMMS to save the stadium from demolition. In just five years, the group has donated time, funds, and expertise to take the stadium from almost certain demolition to a site plan designed to not only save the structure, but to do so in a sustainable way.
Once the city approved a reasonable master plan for Virginia Key in March of 2012, they entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with FMMS and the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority, designating FMMS as the only entity authorized to raise funds for the renovation and operation of the stadium. This was contingent on the development of a site plan. FMMS worked with a steering committee selected by the city manager to develop the plan, which includes boundaries and construction costs as well as other aspects of restoration and operation.
On December 18, 2012, the City Steering Committee unanimously approved the plan and sent it forward for approval by the Miami City Commission. On March 14, FMMS presented the comprehensive plan to the C. Two of the five city commissioners have already voiced their support, but we need one more "yes" vote to reach a majority.
Please take a moment to contact the three remaining commissioners and urge them to approve the site plan and stay the course with the FMMS, the only organization whose sole purpose it is to save the stadium.
Written by Karen Nickless, Project Manager
When Art Basel takes over Miami, you never know what kind of modern art you might see. For instance, you might see a giant alligator floating in Biscayne Bay. Titled "Floating Tile Art: Gator in the Bay," the gator is built upon a self-propelled barge and features a crane boom that allows the gator's mouth to open and close.
Of course, Biscayne Bay is no stranger to modern art. Since 1963, Miami Marine Stadium has graced its shores. It has been studied, painted, painted on (by graffiti artists), and photographed. Jay Koenigsberg has taken “the art of Miami Marine” to a different plane, with his high dynamic range photography. The artist, technique, and subject are a perfect match.
On December 3, 200 people attended the opening reception for Jay’s exhibit at the National Hotel in Miami Beach. A member of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America program, the National provided a stylish backdrop for the event.
Jorge Hernandez and Don Worth, co-founders of the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium began the evening by noting the role the National Trust has played in the effort to save and restore Miami Marine Stadium. Don Worth introduced Delphine Dray, owner of the National Hotel. No stranger to preservation projects, Ms. Dray is responsible for the restoration of the National, an Art Deco landmark that epitomizes the mood and décor of the 1940s. Introduced to the Marine Stadium this summer, she knew immediately that she wanted to help save the stadium.
Architect Hilario Candela spoke of the special place the stadium holds in the hearts of Miamians, saying "When a community adopts your building, then you know you have succeeded as an architect." After Hilario spoke, Jay Koenigsberg discussed the technique that he used to make the photographs and Jay and Hilario signed prints.
Written by Karen Nickless, Project Manager
Art Basel in Miami is the most prestigious art show in the Americas, showcasing more than 2000 artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It's also Miami's best party, an opportunity to show off the town. On the evening of December 3, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Miami Marine Stadium will take its place as part of Art Basel, with the opening reception for an exhibit of high dynamic range images by photographer Jay Koenigsberg.
Jay Koenigsberg is a pioneer of high dynamic range photography. His cutting-edge work captures the spirit of Miami Marine Stadium with its depth and sense of motion. The reception and exhibit, which are free and open to the public, will be at The National Hotel on Miami Beach, an Art Deco gem built in 1939. The reception is in honor of Hilario Candela, the architect of Miami Marine Stadium. If you are in the area and plan to attend, please RSVP.
The nuts-and-bolts of saving the stadium continue as well, as the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium work with the City of Miami on the Marine Stadium Plan. The supporting Naming Rights Package and Capital Plan Study are also almost complete.
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.