FORT LAUDERDALE — The 2016 Miami International Boat Show will go on at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin from Feb. 11-15 as planned.
That was the message at a meeting Thursday evening at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to talk about the Miami show’s move from the Miami Beach Convention Center to the marine stadium on Virginia Key.
A two-year renovation of the convention center has forced the show to move.
“Nothing that anyone can see will stop this show from happening [at the stadium],” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which owns the Miami show.
The village of Key Biscayne is trying to block the use of the stadium for the show by suing Miami, which owns the stadium and the park it’s in, and the NMMA.
“I can’t see any judge in the state of Florida ruling that one city (Key Biscayne) has the right to tell another city (Miami) how it can or can’t use its own property,” Miami city manager Daniel Alfonso said.
Alfonso said Miami and the NMMA have addressed Key Biscayne’s concerns about traffic by planning to use shuttles and water taxis to transport exhibitors and visitors to the show and prepositioning fire trucks and ambulances and making helicopters available to address concerns about traffic on the MacArthur Causeway possibly interrupting emergency services.
Miami is investing $20 million in the marine stadium property for the show and other events. The stadium has not been used for 23 years.
Dammrich said exhibit space for the 2016 show is not sold out, “but it is selling out.” Ninety percent of large exhibitors are aboard for 2016 and no major boatbuilders or engine makers have dropped out, NMMA sales director Larry Berryman said
The stadium is the new home of the Miami show, Dammrich said, adding, “We will be here for the foreseeable future.”