The company behind the Miami International Boat Show, touted as as a major economic generator for South Florida, is asking for more than $1 million in state money and saying it will bleed red for years due to the event's move from Miami Beach to Virginia Key.
On Wednesday, David Dickerson, director of state government relations for show owner National Marine Manufacturers Association, appeared before a committee of lawmakers to request $1.25 million from the legislature. The House's Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development fielded dozens of brief presentations Wednesday for pork allocations.
Dickerson told committee members that "our costs are going to quadruple" as they move their anchor show from the Miami Beach Convention Center to the Miami Marine Stadium. The show is moving due to plans to renovate the expo center.
The city of Miami, which voted to borrow $16 million to accommodate the boat show and improve land outside the abandoned stadium, is expected to host the Boat Show over President's Day Weekend in 2016. (A city administrator on Wednesday asked the same committee for money for the stadium site.)
The National Marine Manufacturers Association has signed an agreement in which it will pay the city at least $1.1 million a year. Dickerson said the event will generate $30 million in sales taxes, but no profit.
"There is no way we're going to see black ink for years," he said.
(Dickerson's appearance is around 1:60 mark in the linked video.)