Heavyweight Investors Quietly Look To Build A Watersports Park At Miami Stadium

Miami Marine Stadium_Photo Credit Miami Herald 1030x385

A high-powered investment group with its eye on redeveloping the expansive Miami Marine Stadium property on Virginia Key has been quietly meeting with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and other city officials to float an unsolicited proposal for a water-oriented sports and amusement park on the site.

News of the previously undisclosed proposal has filtered out as the city administration gets set to seek a potential operator later this year for the marine stadium, which has been closed since 1992, amid growing political support for a long-delayed plan for the 1963 historic landmark’s renovation.

But while the city plan is limited to renovating and operating the marine stadium as a concert and performance venue, the oddly named crXsspark group’s proposal extends well beyond the structure’s footprint to encompass acres of surrounding parking lots along the Rickenbacker Causeway, and possibly an adjacent city boat-storage rack facility as well as the also publicly owned Miami Rowing Club facility, sources say.

crXsspark has not submitted any application or documents to the city, so available details of the plan are scant. The group’s Miami representative declined to comment in detail.

“We’re still in the early stages and not ready to discuss this publicly,” said Miami publicist Freddy Balsera, who is representing the group. “All we have done is present to see what people think.”

Several sources say the group’s proposal calls for a water-oriented sports and recreation center that would be privately funded and include a wave-generating pool for surfing as well as training facilities and lodging for competitive watersports and extreme-sports athletes.

A renovated stadium would also be part of the facility for use as an entertainment venue, although the estimated $60-million-plus cost of rehabilitation would be covered by municipal bonds, as the city has long been planning.

A video available on social-media platform Vimeo from crXsspark shows computer-generated images of a proposed water and adventure sports park in Hong Kong that the group is also pursuing. Sources say the concept shown on the video, including elements such as a wave pool, a skateboard course, and docks and facilities for sailing and lodging for students and athletes, is broadly similar to what the group envisions for Virginia Key.

Source: Miami Herald