MIAMI, Fla. — The first crowds gathered in 1963. Over 6,000 people filled the stands, and here, they would gaze for decades from crowded seats across Biscayne Bay, over a world famous floating stage and on towards the ever-growing skyline of South Beach. For 30 years the crowds gathered, soaking in the South Florida sun at Miami Marine Stadium. And then, in 1992, the lights went out.
Caught in the chaos of Hurricane Andrew, the stadium was closed. Though it escaped destruction, it was never re-opened.
“It’s old, it’s cool. There’s nothing else like it,” says FTR Managing Editor Ken Duke, who grew up just down the road from the once legendary concert and boat race venue. “Today, it’s like a relic to coolness.”
If you attend the Miami Boat Show this week on Virginia Key, you won’t have to look far to find that relic. The old girl is still there. She’s right nextdoor to the docks and pavilions that are hosting North America’s largest boat show. “Thousands will have the opportunity to view the iconic stadium during the boat show … for the first time since it was shuttered, but not damaged, after Hurricane Andrew in 1992,” Don Worth, co-founder of the Restore Miami Beach Stadium group told the Miami Herald this week.
For many of our readers, those thousands mean you.
So take it in, soak it up. Immerse yourself in the slick, clear-coated glamour of the boat show. You’ll rarely find a more extensive collection of modern design, beauty and function than the one gathered here. But, don’t forget to take a glance next door. The old relic is hard to miss. And she’s still a sight to see. More than five decades after she was born a crisp, modern concrete beauty, after she first transfixed thousands like you, Miami Marine Stadium carries the scars of time. She’s tattooed now, a siren to years of Miami street artists. The floating stage is long gone. But for the first time in a long time, she’ll finally have another chance to draw a crowd.
And the locals hope that maybe one, or some of you, will help bring her back to life.