Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Johnny Winton and the Miami Marine Stadium

One thing about Johnny Winton, he ain't no song and dance man. Instead of getting the run around on a simple question, Mr. Winton turned out to be a straight shooter regarding saving the Miami Marine Stadium. In a phone interview today, he told us without equivocation that he would do all he could to save the stadium and is in favor of giving up naming rights to a corporation that would contribute to its restoration. He thought MVB's idea of approaching Budweiser was worthy of the effort. He also added that
  • There were no "structural issues" discovered with the Marine Stadium following Hurricane Andrew. He toured the site with a delegation and no one could see any signs of "spalling," tell-tale signs of sub-surface structural damage revealed as "chipping, fragmenting, or separating of the surface."
  • Still, saving the Marine Stadium is "not a simple issue." He said efforts had been made to find vendors to take over the stadium but none of them thought they could make a go of it because they thought it was "too small." Making it "market viable" is the real issue, not the stadium's structural integrity.
  • He agreed with us that the Marine Stadium is Miami's Taj Mahal. There is nothing like it in the whole world. He said that the "last decision is to destroy it" and everything should be done to try and save it.
  • Regarding the recent media stories about the sad state of downtown, he said that was one of the main reasons he got into politics. His downtown office was crumbling around him and couldn't find anyone in government who cared. He laid some of the blame on the county which hasn't spent "an extra dime" on downtown.

This is why we like Johnny Winton and want to see him get his office back. He's a straight shooter and shares our vision of the "Manhattanization of downtown Miami." Regarding whether or not the Miami Marine Stadium will ever become "market viable," may we suggest that we start seeing it as the "people's building," the older, maligned stepbrother of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. If we can prop up high culture, we can prop up pop culture and recreation too. Besides, we think Budweiser, possibly in association with a company like Live Nation which is running the Jackie Gleason Theatre on Miami Beach, could make it work during all those dates between the opening and closing dates of the the Unlimited Hydroplane racing circuit.

Finally, don't forget to attend today's meeting regarding the Miami Marine Stadium. It's at 6:00 PM in the LaSalle High School cafeteria (3601 S. Miami Ave.).


Curious said...

Was Winton sober?

Verticus S. Erectus said...

I see a "Snarkoff" has left a comment.