Miami’s most famous waterfront theater took another step toward a new life on Friday.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado announced the city is getting closer to inking an agreement with the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium.
The preservation group is in charge of restoring Miami Marine Stadium back to its status of the nation’s premiere arena on the bay.
It is a dream come true for the original architect, Hilario Candela.
“The whole idea is to get this place back to its role in being one of the most prominent, everyday places to be at in this community,” Candela told NBC Miami.
For years the stadium was home to powerboat races, political rallies and epic concerts.
Don Worth, the president of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, said old school Miamians have some great memories of the outdoor amphitheater-like venue.
“The fact is, the stadium is a place for everyone,” he said.
But the 6,500-seat theater is currently a mess, in disrepair, and scarred with graffiti and broken concrete.
It shut down in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew ripped through the area.
Now the theater is a haven for skateboarders, teenagers and production crews who use the space as a backdrop for pictures and videos.
Worth said he has about $11 million secured for the restoration, but that he believes the project will run about $30 million.
He is confident he can raise the balance through private donations.
The agreement between his group, the city of Miami and the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority is expected to be discussed at a commission meeting later this month.
Architectural drawings show a newly renovated, gleaming Miami Marine Stadium that would once again host concerts and shows in a unique setting.
Candela is ready for the renderings to become reality.
“I use the great memories of the past to reinforce every single day whatever I have to do that day and the following day after,” he said.