Built in 1963, the Miami Marine Stadium took advantage of a beautiful view of downtown Miami and a passing speedboat trend, but now the world’s first boat racing stadium is now an abandoned maze of vandalized cement.
When the Miami Marine Stadium opened it seemed like a great fit for the seaside city that already had a strong relationship with boats and water sports. Despite the death of one of the speedboat racers on opening day of the park, surely a bad omen, the stadium thrived for decades as the world’s first and only stadium custom built to view motor boat races. The venue also hosted concerts, boxing events, and anything else that would pack the over-6,000 wooden seats beneath the broad cement shade. Unfortunately the stadium was declared unsafe in 1992 and the site was simply left to rot.
Of course the open air seating was nearly impossible to seal off to trespassers and the empty halls and cement walls quickly became completely covered in thick layers of graffiti. The wooden seats were marked up, destroyed, or simply ravaged by the elements and now the venue looks closer to a post-apocalyptic wasteland than a boat racing center for family fun.
Know Before You Go
On an attempted visit at 5 p.m. on May 19, 2017 on foot through the main entrance I was asked to leave by a security guard. The stadium is also protected by a 6ft chainlink fence. I was also told that "no photography is allowed even from a distance." You can still get a good look at the building by hanging out on the nearby boat dock and beach. Although not advisable, illegally trespassing would best be done by sneaking in through the left side of the stadium (when facing the water) where, in the low tide, there is no fence protecting an entry way. Also reaching that access point is best done by walking to the stadium via the shoreline (with downtown Miami to your back) rather than the main entrance as this is where a security guard is generally hanging out with nothing better to do but tell artists and urban explorers to get lost. You can also get a good legal look at the inside of the stadium by taking a boat out in front of it. Consider an Atlas Obscura two-fer with this site and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, less then seven minutes away.