Miami Marine Stadium
Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe Miami Marine Stadium was the first purpose-built venue for powerboat racing in the United States. Designed by Cuban-American architect Hilario Candela, this 1960s concrete Modernist icon is a sentimental favorite for many in the Miami community.
The 6,566 seat stadium, completed in 1964, was built on land donated by a local family specifically for water sports. The stadium, notable for its floating stage and stunning profile, hosted many world-class powerboat events and numerous nationally televised concerts. The last major race in the stadium took place in 1987 and concerts continued through the late 1980s as well.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew damaged the stadium, prompting city engineers to condemn the structure. Since then, the stadium has sat vacant, without maintenance, subject to vandalism and prolific graffiti.
How We Helped
In 2006 city development plans called for the demolition of the stadium. However, thanks to strong advocacy efforts and public outcry, the city’s plans were subsequently revised and the stadium was designated a local landmark in October 2008.
With the belief that the stadium needs a viable new plan and a sympathetic developer, WMF partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Friends of Miami Marine Stadium to undertake a structural feasibility study that will demonstrate the reuse potential for Miami Marine Stadium.
On March 8, 2012, Miami commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of renovation after years of campaigning by Friends of Miami Marine Stadium. The Friends have two years to develop a fundraising strategy and viable operational plan.
Why It Matters
For the citizens of Miami, the stadium represents the modernity of a growing city and the international cultural influences that helped shape it. Miami Marine Stadium defined a significant shift in American architectural style from staid civic buildings to exuberant structures reflecting changing tastes and a desire to project the city as a forward-looking place. These kinds of sites remain under-recognized for their innovative use of materials and skillful design; consequently there is a lack of understanding of their significance and value to the community.