Commission votes to restore Miami Marine Stadium

Plan allows Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium to raise $30M in private donations for restoration

MIAMI – Miami city commissioners watched a video featuring Miami-based pop star Gloria Estefan before voting 4 to 1 in favor of a plan to restore the old Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key. 

Now covered in graffiti, the 1960s-era waterfront facility might get injected with a new breath of life if an organization called Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium gets its way. 

Members, who include Estefan,  received approval from all Miami commissioners, except Commissioner Frank Carollo, to move forward with restoration plans that include building public park space.

With Thursday afternoon's vote, the group said it can now raise the $30 million in private donations needed for work to start and to take control of the property. 

"Today, we right a wrong that as been there for 20 years. Thank you. Thank you, commissioners," said Mayor Tomas Regalado. 

Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones, who ultimately voted in favor of the plan, said she was concerned about the future of the stadium should the group not raise enough money in time. Jorge Hernandez, co-founder of Friends of the Marine Stadium, said the money would be put back in escrow and returned to donors. 

Carollo, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he would rather have seen the issue go to a public referendum.