Friends of Miami Marine Stadium was organized in February 2008 to seek restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium. The all volunteer group was organized under the administrative umbrella of Dade Heritage Trust, Miami Dade County’s foremost organization devoted to historic preservation. In January, 2011, Friends of Marine Stadium incorporated as an independent organization and in August, 2011, received approval as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. All donatons can now be made directly to Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and are tax deductible.
Accomplishments of the Friends Group are listed below:
-Historic Designation of the Marine Stadium and Basin by the City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board in October, 2008
-Advocacy efforts which have resulted in support from groups such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, singer Jimmy Buffett, and the World Monuments Fund
-Approval of the Master Plan for Virginia Key by the Miami City Commission in Jury, 2010. The plan makes the Stadium the centerpiece the restoration for Virginia Key.
-A publicity campaign which has resulted in local, national, and international press.
-An Engineering Study funded by a collection of organizations headed up by the World Monuments Fund which demonstrated that the cost of restoring the concrete in the Stadium was estimated between $5.5-$8.5 million, depending upon how much work would be done to arrest additional deterioration. This amount is much less than the $15 million as previously estimated by the City of Miami. (It is important to note that this estimate includes concrete work of the structure only, and not work on the pilings or other facets such as plumbing, electrical, new seats, ADA handicapped requirements, etc).
-Extensive community outreach including presentations to over 32 business organizations, yacht clubs, civic and community organizations.
-Events to educate the public including a seminar entitled “The Future of Miami Marine Stadium” which featured 15 promoters and events organizations who would like to use the facility.
With the advocacy battle won, Friends of Marine Stadium is now focusing on feasibility issues which includes management, financing for the Stadium, and operations. The Friends group seeks to make sure that the Stadium is both economically viable and is operated in the public interest. All of the work to date has been done by volunteers.