A poll by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) show that a majority of voters in Miami/Dade counties support moving the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) to the Miami Marine Stadium at Virginia Key. MIASF says in a statement that 87% of the respondents want MIBS to continue.

When it came to the actual location, however, the support for the move to Virginia Key was more muted, but still favourable. According to the survey, 51% of the voters favored the move to Virginia Key, while 23% were against. “When asked if they supported the move despite the Village of Key Biscayne’s widely documented objections, poll respondents remained firm, supporting the move by a solid 46% to 31% margin,” said an MIASF statement.

The poll surveyed 800 registered voters in Miami and Dade Counties in early December.

“These results reaffirm what we already knew, which is that the South Florida community embraces the Miami International Boat Show, as well as the local marine industry that it helps support,” said MIASF Executive Director Phil Purcell in the statement. “The boat show, along with Yachts Miami Beach supports an $11.5 billion regional marine industry that employs 136,000 people and has a tremendous year-round impact on the marine businesses.”

In addition, the poll show that 86% of surveyed voters think that MIBS is important to Miami’s image as a tourist destination. More than half, 56%, of those surveyed in the Village of Key Biscayne’s voting district also supported the move to Virginia Key. When told of the Village’s opposition to moving MIBS to the Marine Stadium, the same district voters still supported the move by a 48-31 margin, a larger margin than the countywide average.

On December 15, the Dade County Commission will hold a vote on whether to issue a permit for the boat show in the new location. The vote was postponed last month. A Miami circuit court judge last week threw out a lawsuit by the Village of Key Biscayne against NMMA to halt the boat show. The Village has vowed to renew that case. The NMMA had said after the postponement of the permit vote that it would be “unlikely” that the show would continue if the permit was not issued. But NMMA executives have remained adamant that they expect to hold the show at Miami Marine Stadium in February.