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Marine Stadium Named to World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List
The Marine Stadium has been named to the World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List along with other sites such as Macchu Picchu and the Center Cities of Buenos Aires and Old Jerusalem.

Click here for details.
Thanks To Our Sponsors

The work of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium is supported in part by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

We Support...


Gloria Estefan video for the Marine Stadium!

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Buy a Print of Street Art to Benefit the Marine Stadium

Click on the link below to purchase a limited edition print of street art at the Marine Stadium. Net sales proceeds go towards restoration of the Stadium. Click here

Amazing Marine Stadium VIdeo

This is really quite a remarkable video. To see it,

click here

Latest Marine Stadium Update

October 9, 2014 Update


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News From Miami City Commission

On July 11, 2013 the Miami City Commission approved the Site Plan for the Marine Stadium! Now, its on to fundraising. Read the story in the Miami Herald

Winners of Floating Stage Design Contest

On May 2, 2011 the winners of the Floating Stage Design Contest were announced at the Awards Dinner to a packed house of 175 people.

Click Here to see the presentation (PowerPoint File)

Master Plan Approved!

The Virginia Key Master Plan was approved by the Miami City Commission on July 22, 2010
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Miami Dade County Commission To Provide Funding For Marine Stadium

Miami Dade County Commission, approves, by a unanimous 12-0 vote, $3 million of funding for the restoration of the Marine Stadium! Click here  for more information.

Jimmy Buffett Video!

We are very excited to present this video by Jimmy Buffett which helps promote the the Marine Stadium renovation

Click on this link to watch the video



Marine Stadium Named to National Trust's 2009 "11 Most Endangered Places"

National Trust For Historic Preservation names Miami Marine Stadium  to its 2009 list of America's Most Endangered Historic Places.
Click Here For Details

2010 Engineering Study
February, 2010: Results of engineering study released:

Click Here for details.

Marine Stadium Book

Record your Marine Stadium memories for a book! 


SInce May of 2009, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium has been compiling "memories" and personal stories for a book about the Marine Stadium to be called IF SEATS COULD TALK.  At this point, we have collected over 160 stories from people who attended events at the Stadium, boat racers, performers, event producers, politicians, even some of the people who helped design and build it!


The book will demonstrate-in vivid, personal terms, the importance of the Marine Stadium to this community.

To make this a great book, we need YOUR story of the Marine Stadium! It can be anywhere from a paragraph to a page in length. You can write it up-but we'd be happy to make it easy for you. We can interview you for the book! For more information, please contact Don Worth, email dontonton@gmail.com

Our purpose is the restoration and return to operation of Miami Marine Stadium. It is the goal of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium to work with the City and community at large to accomplish this purpose and have it operated in the public interest. 






  • Built on Virginia Key as the first purpose-built venue for powerboat racing in the United States.
  • Dedicated as the Ralph Munroe Marine Stadium on December 23, 1963. Stadium was built at a cost of $1 million; basin was dredged for approximately $900,000. 




  • The 6,566 seat stadium was designed by architect Hilario Candela, a 28-year-old recent immigrant from Cuba at that time.
  • Considered a Modernist icon because of its cantilevered, fold-plate roof and construction of lightweight, poured-in-place concrete, popular in mid-century stadiums. 
  • At 326 feet in length (longer than a football field), it was the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world when it was built. Its eight big slanted columns are anchored in the ground. 


Boat Races and Other Sporting Events


  • The stadium hosted many world-class powerboat events including Unlimited Hydroplane, Inboard, Outboard, Performance Craft, Stock, Modified, and Grand National divisions.
  • It was the site of many nationally televised events including the Bill Muncey Invitational and the ESPN All American Challenge Series.


Concerts and Cultural Events


  • With a floating stage, the stadium would become host in later years to different events ranging from boxing matches to classical, rock and pop music concerts, even Sunday services.
  • The stadium is where Sammy Davis Jr. hugged Richard Nixon in 1972, and the site of a legendary and raucous 1985 Jimmy Buffett concert.
  • The 1967, the Elvis Presley movie "Clambake"—about an oil tycoon's heir swapping places with a poor water-skier—was filmed there.
  • Other memorable performances: Queen, The Beach Boys, Steppenwolf, Dave Brubeck. Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Miami Philharmonic, Ray Charles and many more.

The Sleeping Beauty Years


  • In the wake of Hurricane Andrew, it was declared an unsafe building under Miami-Dade County building code and shuttered by the City of Miami on September 18, 1992.  An engineering study demonstrated it was sound and not damaged by the hurricane but it was closed to the public, nonetheless.
  • Since then, the stadium has become a haven for vandals, graffiti artists and taggers.


The Future


  • On February 20, 2008, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium (FMMS) was formed.  The effort undertaken by FMMS is the first-and only feasible plan in 20 years for restoration and operation of the property.
  • FMMS secured historic designation by Miami’s Historic Preservation and Environmental Board.
  • The stadium was also recognized as an architectural masterpiece by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was named to the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered List in 2009.
  • In 2009, the Worlds Monuments Fund, the foremost organization worldwide devoted to the preservation of architectural and cultural sites, named the Marine Stadium to its 2010 Watch List (significant endangered sites), along with places such as Macchu Picchu, the historic center of Buenos Aires, the City of Old Jerusalem, and Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
  • On April 6, 2010, Miami-Dade County Commissioners passed a resolution to allocate $3-million to the stadium to start its historical preservation and return it as a venue for water sports and major concerts.
  • On July 22, 2010, the Miami City Commission approved the Virginia Key Master Plan, which includes the Miami Marine Stadium.
  • In January 2012, Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority (MSEA), a quasi-public organization, approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Resolution, the first step in the creation of a partnership between FMMS, MSEA and the Miami City Commission to restore the Marine Stadium.  
  • In March, 2012, the Miami City Commission approved the MOU. Friends of Miami Marine Stadium must submit a business plan within six months and develop full funding within two years.


About Friends of Miami Marine Stadium (FMMS)


  • Friends of Miami Marine Stadium was created as an all-volunteer organization in February 2008 to advocate for restoration of the Marine Stadium, under the administrative umbrella of the Dade Heritage Trust. Since then, FMMS has provided over $600,000 to the cause and has never received nor requested funding from the City of Miami for its efforts.  


  • FMMS has now transitioned from a group focused on advocacy to one that is prepared to guide the restoration of the Marine Stadium.  It incorporated in December 2010 and received its (501)(c)(3) designation in August 2011.  Current board members are:


            Hilario Candela, AIA                            Architect of Miami Marine Stadium, Past

            Co-chair FMMS                                      President, Spillis Candela


            Albert Dotson, Jr.                                Partner, Bilzin Sumberg


            Daniel Diaz Leyva                               Partner, Infante, Zumpano




            Jorge Hernandez, AIA                         Principal, JLH Architects


            Roberto Martinez                                Shareholder, Colson Hicks Eidson


            Jose Mendana, Jr, CPA                        Berkowitz Dick Pollack and Brant



            Cliff Mezey                                        Former CEO and Owner

                                                                   Interstate Industries  


            Charles D. Urstadt                              Principal, Urstadt Real Estate 


            Donald Worth                                    Community Activist

            Co-chair, Secretary


            Lynn Lewis                                          Lynn Lewis, P.A.

            General Counsel

No information on this website, including the photographs, can be used for commercial purposes without first contacting and obtaining permission from Friends of Marine Stadium.