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FYI Thunderboat Row may be gone but........

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Old 07-01-2008, 03:11 PM
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T2x
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Default FYI Thunderboat Row may be gone but........

I received this today

Gentlemen,

Apparently the “Friends of Miami Marine Stadium” committee is close to gaining a “historical designation” for marine stadium. We are planning a F1 ChampBoat race there for early 2009, we hope this significant achievement will happen so we can all enjoy returning to Miami!!



Regards,

Mike Schriefer

President

Speedway Group, Inc./ChampBoat Series, LLC.


[email protected]





Posted on Monday, Jun. 30, 2008



Miami Marine Stadium may become a landmark

By ANDRES VIGLUCCI



A campaign to save the storied Miami Marine Stadium will get its first test on Tuesday, when the city's historic preservation board will consider a proposal to designate the long-neglected but architecturally dazzling structure as a historic landmark.

The effort has received a boost from the city's preservation officer, Ellen Uguccioni, who in a report to the board called the 1964 stadium ''a tour de force of modern design'' and concluded it is eligible for designation.

But the save-the-stadium effort must still overcome a significant hurdle, Uguccioni said: Generally, buildings must be 50 years old before they are eligible for historic status. Because the stadium is only 44 years old, proponents of designation must demonstrate it is ''of exceptional importance,'' she wrote.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miam...ry/589129.html





Michael Schriefer

President

F1 CHAMPBOAT SERIES

17505 W. Catawba Ave. Suite 150 / Cornelius, NC 28031

O. 704.987.5044 ext.11 / F. 704.987.5055 / C. 704.904.4141

E. [email protected]



www.CHAMPBOAT.com

This e-mail may contin information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient (or authorized to act on behalf of the intended recipient) of this e-mail, please do not disclose, forward, distribute, copy, or use this e-mail or its contents. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by emailing [email protected] and destroy the e-mail.



From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:19 PM
To: [email protected]
Cc: Bruce Washburn; John Tiger; Alan J. Radue; Rich Luhrs; Tom Bertolini
Subject: FW: Miami Marine Stadium



Gentlemen, the information I sent on the Miami Marine Stadium History was put together by Jeff G

http://www.********************/foru...?t=4260&page=5

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected] (Bruce Washburn), [email protected] (John Tiger),[email protected] (Alan J. Radue), [email protected] (Rich Luhrs), [email protected] (Tom Bertolini)
Subject: Miami Marine Stadium
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 22:09:31 +0000

Hi Mike,



This is some history on the Stadium and events that have led up to this date:



The Miami Marine Stadium was conceived and built for boat racing. Over the years it was also used for a number of different activities, water ski shows, classical concerts on a stage brought over from the other side, rock and roll shows, Easter Sunrise services, etc.
The stadium was built in 1962-63. Many different races were held there over the years from Stock Outboards, to GN, Inboard, OPC, Unlimiteds etc.
The stadium was built on land donated by the Matheson family. They were a very well known family that sold or donated hundreds or thousands of acres for parks, beaches etc in the Miami area. When they donated the land to the City of Miami there was a stipulation that it had to be used for "Water Sports". if it ceased to be used for that purpose then the land would revert back to the family! That is why the stadium is still there.
Originally the pit area was quite large. You could easily fit 200 boats in there. There was a first aid station, overhead crane, and a ramp that could accommodate 10+ boats at a time. The stadium had seating for 7,500 in the concrete grandstand and 20,000+ more on the beach and temporary bleachers.
In the 1970's the City leased a small portion on the far west end to a group to build a restaurant, Rusty Pelican, it did well but none of the lease money was counted in the stadium revenues. Next they leased out an area behind the paved pit area for boat storage, and closed the first aid station for use as offices. Same deal the revenues were not attributed to the stadium. Next the boat storage area took over some more land and another restaurant was born. Then in the 1980's a group somehow (wonder how) leased an area to the east of the stadium and built their own little country club which was the Miami Rowing Club. Now with both the rowing club and restaurants the unlimited days of testing and races in the stadium were numbered. All the while the City of Miami constantly complained that the st adium did not pay for itself! Yeah right!
At this same time many of the old timers and avid followers of powerboat racing were moving out of Miami. In 1982 the City raised the rental of the stadium to a point the local clubs FIRC and SFOC could not afford to pay the rental. The operator of the restaurant and boat storage also expanded into the pit area parking lot and added new dry stack storage, further cutting back the size of the pits. In addition he was able to get the city to restrict the number of days his operation would be restricted due to races, so we were in fact restricted from doing what the land was built for.
In the mean time there were a number of schemes to build water parks, ski show venues etc at the stadium, none of the flew.
BY the mid 1980's some of the historical races ceased to happen at the stadium. Homer Greene ceased putting on the Race of Champions, the Unlimiteds were on the way out and even the big GN races were near the end. There was just t o o much political pressure and date restrictions. Even more supporters of boat racing were leaving.
The South Florida Outboard Club folded in 1984 or 1985. I was the last president. We joined with the inboard club a few years earlier in joint races. We even tried to race back at Pelican Harbor, an old time venue from the 1960's, up on 79th St. due to the cost associated with the stadium.
You see not only did we have to pay a basic rent of $750.00 per day we had to pay for a minimum of 2 uniformed Police Officers, and sanitation crew, union electrician and sound man, the stadium manager etc. We also had to set the course ourselves, a service previously in the city contract, schedule 120 days ahead of time and also limit the number of days. Official testing days were just slightly less expensive.
To hold a good 2 day event in the early 1980's would cost over $6,000 not including sanction, insurance, prize money, and other costs. I put on a nationally televised race, the ESP N All American Challenge Series in 1982 and the 2 day race cost in excess of $12,000 not including any prize money!
The last major race in the stadium was the 1987 Inboard Nationals.
There have been some powerboat racing ideas to open the stadium back up, but none has taken root. It is just too expensive and complicated to put on a race. All the while the culture of Miami was changing. Offshore was the big thing and continues to this day. The overwhelming percentage of Latin population had no background in small boat racing and didn't support the racing, basically the fan base disappeared at the same time the drivers and owners left the area.
During the late 1970's and all through the 1980's I was responsible for setting the course at the stadium for all the races. I also lived a few miles away. Because of this I came to learn every inch of the stadium. I moved from Miami in 1988.
After Hurricane Andrew the next winter I was back for the Miami Boat Show. Went to visit a n umber of friends and visited the stadium. At this time the City officials had already condemed the stadium. I went inside and walked it all. I can tell you, and I am not an engineer, that the stadium had no additional damage outwardly visible. The City engineers were caught in a lie. What they wanted was to turn the land into a marina, hotel complex. Many of these same politicians were caught in different corruption probes over the years.
However when the City announced the stadium would be torn down the insurance company hired independent engineers that declared the stadium was not damaged. The city has debated it's fate and allowed it to deteriorate since.
Remember the Matheson family? Well when the City announced the hotel marina deal they went to the City and court and stated that if the land was not used as originally donated then it would revert back to them. ALL OF IT!
The city would lose tens of thousands of lease dollars, the lease holders would be evicted and the city sued!
So today it sits, a monument to a by gone era of fast boats and larger than life figures. The glory days when kids and grown men both toiled to get their boats a little faster and compete on an equal basis. And to do it in the most glorious facility in America.

Last edited by T2x; 07-01-2008 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:31 PM
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Posted this last night..

Asshatz @ Miami city hall need to be shot.. then tossed into the bay for chum...
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:36 PM
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Mike Matheson is a friend of mine.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:49 PM
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A very interesting read. Any idea what's next?
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratickle View Post
A very interesting read. Any idea what's next?
Well as of yesterday the Champ boat people began negotiating with the APBA Vintage OPC group to combine a modern day Champ boat event with an Historic "race" at Miami Marine Stadium. In the wonderful spirit that was started a few weeks ago at the Aronow race..... This could really be special. I would be honored to have people like Dave Craig, Odell Lewis, Richie Powers, and Brownie take a spin in either our wing or the Bob Valachovic/Kenny Kitson "Miss Diablo. If this comes off you will definitely see a pretty good fleet of historic race boats, vees, stackers, multi engine cats, etc..........

It would be a small leap from that event to the return of the Unlimiteds, Inboard hydros, marathon IB flat bottoms, and, hopefully, multi hour marathons........

Keep your fingers crossed.

T2x
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:54 AM
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Everything I have is crossed. Let them know they have one patrol boat already, and I can get more if needed..
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:37 AM
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Great read, thanks for sharing. I had no idea such a place existed.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:59 AM
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I grew up in the stadium. Races, concerts (Anyone remember The Who playing there?) Easter Sunday services, and hundreds of hours skiing there will always be pleasant memories from my childhood and beyond. It damn near brings me to tears seeing the state it is in now. My check is heading to the trust to help in the battle, I hope others follow.

Todays Miamuh Fishwrapper has this article:

Quote:


Posted on Wed, Jul. 02, 2008
Marine Stadium closer to historic status

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI
Proponents of saving the iconic but neglected Miami Marine Stadium easily cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday when they persuaded the city's historic preservation board to consider designating the modern structure as a protected landmark.
By a 7-1 vote, the board agreed to hear a fleshed-out proposal to designate the 1964 stadium on the Rickenbacker Causeway as historic after some 25 speakers -- including prominent architects, preservationists and rowers who use its basin -- extolled the architectural and historic significance of the raw-concrete building, widely regarded as a masterpiece of design but closed for 16 years. A public hearing and final vote is expected in the fall.

Proponents of designation, grouped as Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, persuaded board members that the building's dazzling design and significance to a generation of Miamians make it worthy of designation even though at 44 years of age it doesn't meet the 50-year threshold typically used as a guideline for evaluating historic sites.

''This is one of the most exciting buildings ever built in Miami, and for that reason alone it deserves designation,'' said artist Helene Pancoast, widow of prominent architect Lester Pancoast.

Designation of the city-owned stadium could put Miami officials in a spot. The city's public facilities director, Laurie Billberry, expressed concern over the potential cost of renovation and doubts over what purpose the stadium -- designed for powerboat races but now obsolete for that use -- would serve. A consultant is now conducting a structural evaluation, and planners drawing up a master plan for surrounding Virginia Key have been asked to look into potential re-use.

Backers of designation acknowledge the issues, but say many groups, from rowers to concert promoters, are interested in the stadium's revival. The stadium famously hosted a long and popular series of concerts by performers ranging from Jimmy Buffett to Tony Bennett that one speaker called ''magical'' because of the setting -- with concertgoers filling the stands to the capacity of 7,000 and others in the water in boats, rafts and inflatables.

''There will be a multitude of uses for this facility,'' said architect and university of Miami professor Jorge Hernandez, author of the designation proposal submitted to the city.

However, supporters say, the sole criteria for historic designation are its architectural and historical importance, and Dade Heritage Trust executive director Becky Matkov said the stadium is ``the finest example in Miami of mid-century modern architecture.''

''We feel it's too important to let fall by the wayside,'' said Matkov, whose group is co-sponsor of the designation proposal, citing the loss of the Orange Bowl and Bobby Maduro Stadium to the wrecker. ``Miami Marine Stadium has a universal appeal.''

The city closed the stadium after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, in part because of storm damage but also because the facility was underused and a drain on public coffers at a time of fiscal problems.

Since then, the stadium has deteriorated. Nearly every square foot is covered by graffiti.

Backers, including the stadium's architect, Hilario Candela, have said they're confident the structure is fundamentally sound.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:53 AM
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Clam Bake 2 baby!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:04 PM
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I went and saw the unlimiteds over there 23 years ago and thought it was the cooliest thing ever.But what really was great was watching the wild Jersy Skiffs. What a gas!

I visited the Rusty Pelican when i was over there a couple years ago and tried to look around the Stadium.It was so sad to see the condition that this piece of history was in.After coming on OSO and finding out it had been condemned it got me wondering how concrete structure such as it could have sustained irrepairable damage from the hurricane.

Think god for the Mathesons and other supporters for saving this icon from the greed of our trusted goverment appointees.
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