Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins ask about running marine stadium
The Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins have asked about running a restored Miami Marine Stadium, Mayor Tomás Regalado has told Miami Today, as have global entertainment operators Live Nation, which runs the Fillmore Miami Beach, and SMG, which runs the city’s James L. Knight Center.
“To not subsidize the venue, we need a professional presenter,” he said.
Such interest lends credibility to operation of the Virginia Key city-owned stadium if restoration is completed. The stadium, already underused, was closed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It has been vacant since. The mayor, who is in his final year, made reopening the stadium his primary campaign plank almost eight years ago.
All four operators run other county venues. The mayor said that in the case of the Heat and the Dolphins, Miami Marine Stadium would provide a 5,000-seat venue to concert promoters who don’t want to book a far larger site and not be able to fill all seats.
The choice of operator would come via requests for proposals, the mayor said. Turning a city waterfront facility over to a private firm is also likely to require voter approval.
The city commission in November authorized borrowing $45 million via bonds to restore the stadium. Last week, the commission chose a firm to study what work would be needed, including examination of pilings that have long been under salt water.
While a promoter could relieve the city of operating costs, it would not fund maintenance. The mayor noted that the city and the county both pay the Miami Marlins annually to maintain the team’s county-owned stadium.
He said a “small ticket surcharge” might help fund such costs at the Marine Stadium.
In a few months, Mr. Regalado said, the city will seek construction bids. The city, he said, will supervise construction within its Capital Improvements Department.
“Now,” he said, “we can say we are going to have a stadium.”