Friday, December 3, 2010

Miami Marine Stadium, the new Soccer stadium of Miami?

SEE UPDATE BELOW!
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 dontonton@gmail.com

Yours truly

Don Worth
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:

WVHooligan

The Offside Rules

SB Nation

UnProfessional Foul

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

THE 305

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone wants to go swimming to fetch balls.

Anonymous said...

Yes we want MLS in Miami.

Anonymous said...

No one will have to fetch ball in thwe water. It would the best MLS stadium in the league.

Jorge said...

Yes, I just want to see MLS in Miami. Bring the passion to Miami.

Anonymous said...

Bring it!! MLS to Miami.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I disagree. Div 2 will not sell even with the new Strikers name. People want to see top quality players like Beckham, Henry, etc.
Div 2 will never give them that. If you want to see 10,000 people at a game it has to be Div 1 (MLS)
The Stadium is a great idea btw.

Larry/Weston said...

FT.LAUDERDALE fans did not support the Miami FC when they played at Tropical Park. MLS will come to Miami and it will be successful.

Anonymous said...

Just like people are selling out the arena to see the NBA stars you've got down there?

lol. If you all would spend half as much energy supporting the Strikers as you spend crying over MLS you just might find yourselves with a much better chance at getting MLS one day.

This stadium does seem kind of cool though. But where is the parking?

Anonymous said...

I love it how these ignorant outsiders criticize and hate on South Florida. Why don't you just let us dream?
MLS didn't fail in South Florida. It was the owner that failed.
Why do you think South Florida is always mentioned for expansion? Because MLS regrets leaving. It will be back sooner then you think.

Derek said...

Larry from Weston you are wrong. You say Fort Lauderdale fans did not support Miami FC at Tropical Park, but Miami fans didn't either, and they were playing in Miami! In fact, a good portion of Miami FC's fans have always come from Broward. The MIAMI Ultras was founded by a fan from BROWARD and many of the members, including myself, are from up north.

If done right, wherever MLS is in South Florida it will work. That being said D2 has worked in South Florida before, under the Strikers name, at Lockhart Stadium. The new Strikers deserve a chance to try and establish themselves, and hopefully someday soon bring the rich Strikers tradition to MLS where it belongs(and should have been along with the TB Rowdies the first go round in MLS).

Seamus said...

Nice idea, interesting, but as always...you need someone to pony up $40 million for the franchise fee. Weren't you going to post more about the Beckham/Claure rumors?

Uncle Ed said...

Beckham/Claure rumors info are in the works. As you can imagine its hard to get them to say anything...
We do know that they have spoken and all we have so far is that the talks were "Positive".

VK observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Derek

Strikers can work at Lockhart. Just not with Traffic running it. I am from Miami but don't care if the team is in Fort Lauderdale. It's close enough anyhow, and we are all one area, South Florida. But I don't trust Traffic. They don't want to win, just sell players.

If Traffic sells the team, we can all embrace the Ft Lauderdale Strikers. If Traffic keeps the team, we will work to bring MLS here, whether at Miami Marine Stadium or somewhere else in the tri county area.

Randy said...

Traffic don't care about Miami pro soccer. They run to FT Lauderdale were fans did not support the team when they were at Tropical Park except the ( Miami FC Ultras)

Anonymous said...

Uncle Ed MLS in Miami needs to happen. NASL/is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Ed Check if Marcelo Claure is interested. It would be the best MLS stadium in the league.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Ed Check if Marcelo Claure is interested. It would be the best MLS stadium in the league.

Anonymous said...

They can play MLS on my back yard. Just bring us MLS.

Anonymous said...

Forget NASL. We need to boycott Miami FC, Ft Lauderdale Strikers or whatever they are called until they pledge to bring us MLS.

WE WANT MLS NOW!!!!!!

Oscar said...

Just bring MLS !!! We want it.

Anonymous said...

The Marine Stadium would be awesome. People would go see the games just to be there next to the water.
I'm in Seattle and I'd love to see the Sounders play there. I'll vacation while I'm there too!

Anonymous said...

Here's a legitimate question. For the stadium to be viable it needs amenities. Are there plans for this?? I suspect you'd have to take off the current roof and add boxes.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Ed what about stadium amenities?

Uncle Ed said...

About the amenities...You could see in the picture that has the over view layout that there would be space to add in areas with amenities. The Main building I would imagine would have the majority.

Anonymous said...

This would incredible!

Anonymous said...

Miami needs a soccer scene now!

Anonymous said...

Yes, this would be incredible.I just want to see MLS in Miami that will Bring the passion to Miami and will bring the renewal of the economy.