(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- During a press conference today at Tropical Park's Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center, Miami-Dade County, Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (MDPROS) Director Jack Kardys and Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Senator Javier D. Souto unveiled a new development plan that will expand the size and use of the park's Equestrian Center facilities, ushering in a larger scale of world entertainment and an added tourism revenue draw for Miami-Dade County.
"I am thrilled at this new development," said Commissioner Souto. "This will allow us to bring in large-scale events to this park that will attract international participants and spectators. And that will create a tremendous economic boost for this community; because those same visitors will give their patronage to area hotels, car-rental companies, restaurants, retail shops, and other business."
"This expansion project will maximize the many features of Tropical Park which is one of our busiest parks," said MDPROS Director Kardys. "The new covered arenas will give us more flexibility in offering a wider variety of spectator and exhibition events."
The new development includes the addition of two new covered rings (a warm-up ring and a practice ring) to the south of an existing covered show ring (50,000-sq. ft.). The new rings will be similar in size and design, consisting of a metal frame and roof; a clay floor; a PVC fence for horse rings; showcase lighting; overhead fans; as well as irrigation, fire and alarm systems. As a trio, the rings will create 150,000-square-feet of exhibit, competition and performance-ready arenas under 3.6 acres of covered roof. The new practice ring will also have the capability of housing 266 temporary horse stalls for use during large equestrian events. There will also be a new public address sound system for the entire complex, as well as new landscaping and new striping for the parking area. The improvements will further complement the site's existing amenities, including its grand promenade, spectator seating, two grass courses, 267 stalls, vehicle hookups, restrooms, and concession.
The cost to complete this project is $8.17 million. Funding will be provided by the Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program. The project is a product of the Miami-Dade County Parks Design and Development Team working in collaboration with Laura M. Perez and Associates, Inc. (Architect), SRS Engineering, Inc.(Civil Engineer), Curtis and Rogers Design Studios (Landscape Architects), Cankat-Essman (Structural Engineers), Fraga Engineers (MEP Engineers), and Lemartec Engineering and Construction Corp. (General Contractor).
Slated for completion in mid-September, the Equestrian Center has already booked the 2013 CONFEPASO (Confederation of Paso Fino) Mundial Paso Fino Horse Show, a grand world equestrian competition being held this Fall. The two-week event is expected to bring in approximately 1,000 horses from 12 countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, as well as over 20,000 national and international spectators and visitors to Miami-Dade County. The event can be viewed around the globe via a live-stream on the Internet.
This past summer, the Equestrian Center hosted the CONFEPACO Youth Mundial Paso Fino Horse Show, a smaller-scale world equestrian competition for youth ages 5-8. The event featured 200 horses and 500 young competitors from across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Panama, Columbia, Venezuela, Aruba, Germany, Curacao, and Ecuador.
The Equestrian Center currently hosts nearly 36 equestrian events each year, three state and local dog shows, as well as the annual Miami International Agriculture, Cattle and Horse Show, a three-day event which draws more than 60,000 visitors from around the world; and horse and cattle exhibitors from over 18 states including Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri. The facilities are available for rent and can easily accommodate everything from special events to concerts and business seminars. The park's nearby Mary Abreu Community Center is also available to event producers, businesses and organizations for gatherings and contains 4,320-square-feet of meeting space, seats up to 250 people and has a small kitchen, an outdoor grilling area, restrooms, and parking. Podiums, stages, sound systems and assorted meeting equipment is available for rental.
Tropical Park is located at 7900 SW 40 Street, Miami. This 275-acre regional park also has four lakes, a veterans memorial and 6,000 seat stadium, a tennis center, a dog park; facilities for basketball, racquetball, softball, soccer; and miles of paved pathways for walking, running or biking. For directions to the event, and information about upcoming events and activities at Tropical Park, please call (305) 226-8316, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.
About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.
Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities. For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.parksfoundationofmiami-dade.com.
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