Closed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Miami Marine Stadium could perhaps be the most spectacular Soccer Stadium in the United States if investors are found interested in such a project.
New life has already started to sprout as a group called Friends of Marine Stadium have dedicated themselves to reviving this architectural wonder.
I was able to contact Don Worth, Co-founder of the group leading the charge to bring the Stadium back to life. Here is his take on the Miami Marine Stadium and soccer.
Recently, there has been interest in using the Miami Marine Stadium for soccer. We here at Friends of Marine Stadium (website: www.marinestadium.org) are excited by the concept and believe that it is a very intriguing idea.
Actually, this has already been done. Check out the attached photograph of a floating soccer field in Singapore.Since our group formed in February of 2008, the effort to restore Miami Marine Stadium has gained a lot of momentum. The initiative is now endorsed by the World Monuments Fund, singer Jimmy Buffett, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Stadium, which was designated historic by the City of Miami in October 2008 is a key priority for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. In April of 2010, the Miami Dade County Commission, under the leadership of Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, approved by a 12-0 vote an appropriation of $3 million for the restoration of the Stadium. We will need a lot more-and there are conditions attached to accessing this money-but it is a start.
Our group has been discussing the concept of soccer at the Marine Stadium with various groups and potential operators and the response is always positive. There are logistics to work through. The field would have to be movable and storable (due to the wide variety of events that will be held at the Stadium, flexibility is key) and we would have to figure a way to add more seats as the Stadium holds 6,500. Possibilities include floating barges or boats on the other three seats.
If we can solve these logistical issues, we would undoubtedly have the most spectacular setting for soccer in the world.
There are opportunities for other sporting events as well. The Stadium once hosted boxing and wrestling. Why not tennis and basketball? But soccer is undoubtedly the most exciting prospect.
For more information on Friends of Marine Stadium, please go to our website, www.marinestadium.org and sign up for our email list. Your support is vital to our success and getting on our email list is the best way to be involved. We send out updates about once a month. We welcome all ideas, contacts and suggestions. You can get also in touch with me directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Founder, Friends of Marine Stadium
Following is the location of the Stadium on a map and a further depiction of how the stadium layout might look like.
Stadium Designs by Derek Reese
UPDATE: Monday December 6, 2010
After viewing the response to this blog and others that picked it up, Mr. Don Worth, of Friends of Marine Stadium wanted to make a few points. He hopes this will clear a few things up:
I appreciate that the Football In Miami blog posted my comments on the concept of a floating soccer field. I can see that other sports and soccer related blogs picked up the post-and assumed that the concept was absurd because....who would possibly build a Stadium on the water?
People should understand that the Miami Marine Stadium actually EXISTS now. It was built in 1963 primarily to watch boat racing-but featured many performers such as Jimmy Buffett on its floating stage.
Yes, the Miami Marine Stadium is a truly unique and remarkable structure. That's why it was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "11 Most Endangered" list for 2009 and the World Monuments Fund watch list for 2010.
The Stadium was shuttered in 1992 and our group, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium (website: www.marinestadium.org) is working hard to bring it back. Check out the attached photographs of the Stadium in its heydey, the floating stage-and the Stadium as it looks today,(the current photo was taken by photographer Rick Bravo).
We know the soccer field could be built-as a marine related contractor has already approached us on this. It would have to be movable because of the wide variety of other events that will be held at the Marine Stadium.
The concept of a floating soccer field in Miami is not as far fetched as some may think.
This last picture is a view of the Stadium today.
Sites that picked this story up:
The Offside Rules
UPDATE: Thursday December 9, 2010
The Miami Herald picked up this piece on their printed issue dated Monday December 6, 2010 on page 2B. Section "Best of Blogs". Click on picture to read.
Special thanks to Don Worth of Friends of Marine Stadium for spotting it in the Miami Herald and scanning a copy.
We ask anyone who reads this piece to please support the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium by visiting their website www.marinestadium.org
More mentions this weeks:
South Florida Daily Blog