NMMA sued over Miami boat show move

The village of Key Biscayne in Florida filed a lawsuit against the NMMA over plans to hold the Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Marine Stadium in 2016.
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The village of Key Biscayne in Florida filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Manufacturers Association over plans to hold the Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Marine Stadium in 2016.

In the most recent turn in plans to move the show while the Miami Beach Convention Center undergoes renovations, village officials filed a complaint last Wednesday in Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County, saying the NMMA has refused to share public plans and records with the village.

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 said today that it will respond to the lawsuit “and the Miami International Boat Show remains committed to being a good neighbor to Key Biscayne. It is NMMA’s job to preserve the $600 million economic impact the boat show brings to the Miami community each year — something NMMA takes very seriously. NMMA is moving forward with planning the boat show, and is confident it will be held at 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.

Although one media outlet reported that several commissioners said they would abandon the show if it didn’t work out beyond 2016, NMMA president Thom Dammrich said they were actually referring to the extension for move-in and breakdown.

“The city is committed to hosting the show at the venue on a long-term basis, beyond 2016,” Dammrich told Trade Only prior to last week’s lawsuit being 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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