Will Marine Sta­dium ever re­open?

South Florida Times - - SPORTS - By Mi­ami Her­ald

ANDRESVIGLUCCI

MI­AMI (AP) - The Mi­ami Marine Sta­dium has been added to the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places.Cue the ap­plause,but in­clu­sion on the list won't do much to ad­vance the sta­dium's longde­layed restora­tion.

In­clu­sion on the regis­ter,which is main­tained by the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, is con­sid­ered an honor. There are tens of thou­sands of prop­er­ties on the list across the coun­try rang­ing from the cel­e­brated to the ob­scure - in­clud­ing lo­cally the Mi­amiDade County Court­house and Over­town's D.A.Dorsey House.

But the reg­istry doesn't con­fer any le­gal pro­tec­tion to the sta­dium's grand­stand struc­ture or its boat basin. Nor does it ad­vance ef­forts to re­store the 1963 sta­dium, which is owned by the city of Mi­ami and has been closed since 1992. The sta­dium is pro­tected by lo­cal his­toric des­ig­na­tion, con­ferred in 2008, which bars de­mo­li­tion.

Widely re­garded as an ar­chi­tec­tural and en­gi­neer­ing gem, the sta­dium on Vir­ginia Key has been the fo­cus of a years long lo­cal and na­tional cam­paign seek­ing its ren­o­va­tion and re­open­ing. But plan­ning for a promised re­open­ing of the shut­tered, graf­fiti-cov­ered grand­stand has moved at a glacial pace. The city ear­marked $45 mil­lion for the restora­tion of the sta­dium un­der for­mer mayor To­mas Re­gal­ado,who made its ren­o­va­tion a corner­stone of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, but left of­fice last year after two terms with no work un­der­taken. En­gi­neer­ing and ar­chi­tec­tural stud­ies have been un­der­way for more than a year, but the city has no op­er­a­tional plan for the sta­dium.

The lack of an op­er­at­ing plan re­cently prompted Mi­ami Com­mis­sioner Joe Carollo,elected in Novem­ber,to rail against spend­ing money to ren­o­vate the sta­dium, which he claimed no one in his Lit­tle Ha­vana dis­trict would ever visit. The sta­dium was once a pop­u­lar site for boat races, con­certs by stars like Ray Charles,Jimmy Buf­fett and the Beach Boys, Easter ser­vices and other spe­cial events. The sta­dium's park­ing lot is now the site of the an­nual Mi­ami boat show.

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