Weeks after eagerly serving as the celebrity face of a proposed $121 million restoration and redevelopment plan of the Miami Marine Stadium site, Gloria Estefan has blasted the group behind the project.
The plan by the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium went down in flames before the Miami City Commission on Nov. 20, just days after Estefan appeared with leaders of the group at the stadium to announce their proposal. Estefan now says she was never told about the true scope of the project, including $90 million in commercial development, including a marine expo center and dry boat storage facilities that proved controversial.
She also criticized the not-for-profit's co-founders, Hilario Candela and Jorge Hernandez, for attempting to profit from the project through their architecture firm.
"As the public face and spokesperson for the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium, I feel that my credibility and reputation have been put into question merely by my presumed association with the plan presented by [Friends of Miami Marine Stadium]," she wrote.
Commissioners agreed to continue to pursue a stadium restoration and improvements that would guarantee the Miami International Boat Show will move to the Virginia Key area in 2016. The Friends group was potentially to be involved in the restoration efforts, but Estefan's letter shows that the organization, which had been the leader of the restoration of the historic stadium, might be toxic.