NMMA sees growth opportunity at new Miami show site

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The Miami International Boat Show’s new location could mean an expansion of the show’s footprint in 2017, as well as a large in-water component of the show at Miami Marine Stadium.

The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, owned and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, announced Thursday that it will move the indoor component of the show — traditionally held at the Miami Beach Convention Center — to the Miami Marine Stadium in 2016 and 2017.

The stadium, which was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, has seen renewed hope of getting the $30 million rehab it needs to function again since the NMMA announced it will move there while the convention center undergoes a renovation during those two years.

But the NMMA also hasn’t ruled out the idea of occupying both locations when the convention center renovations are complete. And the “unlimited, protected deep water” gives the group the ability to accommodate any size of boat in what it says will be a big in-water component of the show.

“The industry is growing. It’s very likely the show will grow as well,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today after a conference to announce the partnership. “Miami is an international boating destination and this is going to be great venue for the show.”

“There are no limits to what could be done at this location,” Dammrich said. “There will be a big in-water segment. We’ll be able to accommodate anything — boats of any size.”

The show has always had multiple venues among Sea Isle Marina, the Miami Beach Convention Center and Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace with Strictly Sail. The other venues will remain unchanged.

The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, which runs concurrently with the Miami boat show in February and is produced by Show Management and owned by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, is staying at its Collins Avenue location.

“We’re working with the Miami Beach Convention Center to see what is possible during and after construction,” Dammrich said. “It will depend on a lot of things and whether they build a convention center that will be appropriate for a boat show.”

The Miami Marine Stadium, which has supporters such as Gloria Estefan (who introduced Dammrich at a press conference Thursday where the announcement was made), has half of the $30 million in pledges. The final transfer of the deed to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium should come next week, Dammrich said.

“With the announcement of the boat show coming through, they’re not going to have difficulty raising the rest of the money,” Dammrich said. “It’s not going to be complete by the time the boat show comes in 2016. But the stadium will still provide a nice venue for the show, even if it’s not yet completed.”

“If you look at this venue, it’s very different from the convention center,” he said. “But there’s almost unlimited protected deep water, a slew of land, great accessible parking. The biggest complaint in Miami is about parking and traffic, and those won’t be issues at Miami Marine Stadium.”

There has also been tons of local support, Dammrich said, from Mayor Tomás Regalado to county and city officials. “They recognize the importance of the show and really see the Miami boat show at Miami Marine Stadium as marrying two icons of the city.”

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