The Miami Marine Stadium, in the midst of Key Biscayne’s pristine waters, is an abandoned treasure. This deteriorating 43-year-old graffiti-covered landmark is beloved by local skateboarders, boat owners, cinematographers, photographers, and graffiti artists. It is an odd, but unique, home for memories.
When Hurricane Andrew swept through Miami 20 years ago, this stadium was among many things that were destroyed. Before the eye of the storm, though, the stadium was full of life. Whether it was an Easter Sunday service, music concert, boxing match, boat race or political campaign rally, people always filled the 6,566 seats.
Today, the abandoned stadium has become a destination for graffiti artists who have covered the building’s walls with writing and drawings that capture the 20 years since the storm.
But a few years ago, some planned to tear the stadium down. However, there was strength in numbers for saving the cherished remnant. The stadium is now the centerpiece of Virginia Key’s restoration plan and could possibly become the next world monument.
Miami Marine Stadium is a vital landmark of South Florida’s history and cultural legacy. There is also no comparable feeling to sitting in its graffiti-marked seats and taking in the sound of the lapping waves and smell of the bay.
Even for locals who aren’t skateboarders, photographers or artists, the stadium can still be admired and visited. The stadium should be appreciated it for its monumental past, significant present and promise for a better tomorrow.
The stadium has even inspired some of our campus community to get involved in saving this Miami landmark. UM’s School of Architecture professors and students in 2009 helped develop the master plan that will restore and preserve the stadium.
Miami Marine Stadium may not be a picture-perfect place to some, but its worth is undoubtedly priceless.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.