City of Miami raises funds for marine stadium restoration

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida landmark where people once watched boat races has become a place of graffiti and disrepair. The city has announced a new plan to bring that stadium back to life.

For the past 23 years, the Miami Marine Stadium has been a place of neglect, but on Thursday, an online fundraising effort was launched to raise money for the appropriate restorations.

The partnership was announced between the City of Miami, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Heineken. “We have committed to double the first $20,000 of donations,” said Ralph Rijks, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Heineken USA.

Miami mayor Tomas Regalado has attempted several times to bring back the water stadium but feels, this time, it will work out. “What you are doing is saving history,” he said.

As of Thursday, the city has $9 million of the $40 million that is needed to make repairs.

“New draft proposal about a bond issue. We have to take to the City Commission to see if they agree to put it on the ballot,” Regalado said.

One of the first tasks on the renovation agenda is to remove the graffiti-ridden seats. Donors who give enough money to fund the project just might be given one of the seats to take home.

The hope for officials is that not only will the people of Miami stand behind restoring the historic site but so will others across the country, so the stadium can return to what it once was.

“This place has national significance, and we believe our country would be forever diminished if it were gone,” said Stephanie Meeks, CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

If you would like to donate to the project, go to: www.indiegogo.com/projects/restore-miami-marine-stadium.

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