NMMA committed to new Miami boat-show site

Miami city officials and Miami International Boat Show organizers say a recent lawsuit will not upset their plans.

Miami city officials and Miami International Boat Show organizers say a recent lawsuit will not upset plans to move the boat show to Miami Marine Stadium in 2016.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado issued a statement on Thursday reiterating the city’s intention to hold the boat show at the stadium park despite a lawsuit that Key Biscayne officials filed last week.

“The city of Miami is invested in the boat show and its future at Miami Marine Stadium Park, and I am confident that together we will not allow any distractions to deter us from building a world-class boat show that will make our residents proud,” Regalado said.

Echoing Regalado's remarks, National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said Thursday that the NMMA chose Miami Marine Stadium Park because it is the best and only viable location to accommodate Miami residents, boaters and marine businesses who expect to attend the greatest boat show in the world each year.

“The boat show is devoted to revitalizing Miami Marine Stadium Park, bringing one of the state's most cherished boating destinations back to Miami residents to enjoy for generations to come,” Dammrich said in a statement following the mayor’s.

“There is no better location for the boat show than Miami Marine Stadium Park and no better partner for our city than NMMA to ensuring a smooth and successful boat show for the Miami community,” Regalado said.

"Whether it's the $600 million annual economic impact, the more than 55,000 jobs or the fact that Miami residents live and breathe boating, the boat show's contribution to our city is significant,” he said.

The NMMA has not yet responded in court to a complaint filed in Miami-Dade’s Circuit Court last week that said the group has failed to share public plans and records with Key Biscayne.

The complaint is asking the court to void an agreement between the city of Miami and the NMMA to hold the upcoming boat show at the venue.

“The village has requested that NMMA produce public records related to the license agreement, but NMMA has expressly refused to do so,” the complaint read.

The NMMA issued a statement saying it plans to respond to the lawsuit and that it remains committed to bringing the show to Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin in 2016 and beyond.

The path to moving the event has been fraught with complications and detours, with the original deal crumbling in November following a public announcement with Friends of Miami Marine Stadium spokeswoman Gloria Estafan.

After a separate deal was reached, Key Biscayne officials threatened to sue the city of Miami over the plan in February — apparently over fears that the city will attempt to bring a slew of large events to the stadium, in addition to the boat show — but entered into mediation talks in March.

Plans continued to move forward at a recent meeting, with commissioners unanimously approving a three-month extension for the NMMA to move in and out of the venue and the NMMA agreeing to contribute $1.6 million to infrastructure improvements.

“The city is committed to hosting the show at the venue on a long-term basis, beyond 2016,” Dammrich told Trade Only before last week’s lawsuit was filed. “Are things changing week to week? Of course, and things are going to keep changing until it’s done. We knew that from the outset.”


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