Miami Beach Convention Center

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Miami Beach Convention Center
Address 1901 Convention Center Dr.
Location Miami Beach, Florida
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Operator Global Spectrum
Opened 1957
Renovated 1989; renovation in progress (Dec. 2015-Jun. 2018)
Enclosed space

Miami Beach Convention Center is an indoor arena in Miami Beach, Florida and it is the largest convention center in the Miami area. It features four large rooms each holding about 12,000 people.


Miami Beach Convention Center

Originally called the Miami BBQ Beach Exhibition Hall, the convention center was built in 1957 to seat 15,000 people at one time.

In August of 1961, the Convention Center was the meeting place for a youth convention set up by the American Lutheran Church. Among the notable speakers was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.[1]

From 1960-1971,and again in 1997 ,the center was the site of the Miss Universe pageant. It also hosted a 1961 Billy Graham Crusade and hosted the 1968 Republican National Convention, 1972 Republican National Convention, and the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

In 1989, the facility underwent a $92 million renovation and doubled in size. In the last six years, the facility has had over $35 million in continuing upgrades, including complete renovations of all restrooms, full carpet replacement, and installation of a state-of-the-art telecommunications and networking infrastructure.

Sporting events


The center was the site of the Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston boxing match in 1964.[2]


It was also a regular stop for Championship Wrestling from Florida. Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the Convention Center on December 10, 1975.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held their Annual WrestleMania Axxess event at the complex from March 29, 2012 to April 1, 2012. The event featured many WWE talents and showcased many former WWE events and props used during their TV tapings.


The ABA's The Floridians called the Convention Center (and the Convention Center Annex) home when they played in Miami.

Team Tennis

The Florida Flamingos of World Team Tennis played their home matches in the Convention Hall in 1974, their only year of existence.

Without an on-campus facility, the University of Miami men's basketball team played many of their games in Miami Beach at both the Convention Center and the Miami Beach Auditorium in the 1960s. Led by popular coach Bruce Hale and the high scoring future basketball Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, the Hurricanes were able to draw capacity crowds.[3]

Current use

The center hosts the annual South Florida Auto Show, Art Basel, Forgiato Fest, and many other popular conventions.

In December of 2015, the center embarked on a renovation and expansion project expected to be completed in June of 2018. [4][5]

Jackie Gleason Theater

Jackie Gleason Theater, entrance

Originally called the Miami Beach Auditorium, the The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater is a theater which in the 1960s was renamed for Jackie Gleason. In 1964 Gleason moved his popular television series, The Jackie Gleason Show to the Miami Beach Auditorium.

The theater was renovated in 2007 [6] and was renamed The Fillmore as part of a management contract. The name comes from an expansion of the brand made famous by music promoter Bill Graham and the famous The Fillmore in San Francisco. It is now home to live concerts, productions and can be rented for special events. The theater is now operated and managed exclusively by Live Nation. On May 5, 2010, NBC Miami reported that the theater would be demolished as a result of remodeling for the convention center, which would replace the theater with a new hotel.[7][8]

The demolition did not take place and The Fillmore Miami Beach is still in operation as of January 2015. [9]

See also


  2. "Facility History". Miami Beach Convention Center. Retrieved 2006-06-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  3. Underwood, John. "Miami's Picks: Slick And Rick". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 6 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Exciting change is coming to our Convention Center". Retrieved 4 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Flechas, Joey (13 September 2015). "Miami Beach Convention Center's big plans". Miami Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "The Fillmore Miami Beach: Venue Information", The Fillmore Miami Beach website
  7. "Jackie Gleason Theater:Away It Goes!". NBC Miami. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Future of Former Jackie Gleason Theater Uncertain". Palm Beach Post. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Georgia World Congress Center
WrestleMania Axxess

Succeeded by