International Swimming Hall of Fame To Leave Fort Lauderdale

The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc., (ISHOF) announced today that upon the expiration of its current fifty-year agreement with the City of Fort Lauderdale, in February of 2015, it will not renew and will look for a new home in another city.

Established in 1965, in the City of Fort Lauderdale, ISHOF was the first “International” and one of the first “Amateur” sports hall of fame museums in the world. Recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, the presence of the ISHOF museum has long been regarded as making Fort Lauderdale the Mecca of the world of competitive aquatics. The ISHOF museum houses the most comprehensive collection of aquatic related memorabilia and art in the world. ISHOF’s Henning Library is an international research resource and the organization’s induction ceremonies annually attract the leadership and leading personalities of the Olympic sports of swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, and the global leaders of lifesaving, learn-to-swim, aquatic recreation and aquatic wellness.

ISHOF Logo“This was a very emotional and difficult decision for our organization to make,” says ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo. “Fort Lauderdale has provided us with a wonderful home for almost fifty years and we had high hopes and great expectations to be part of a new Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in this City. However, we have come to realize that the problems we have had with the City since at least 2000, and which we have been unable to resolve since, stem from the fact that our organization’s vision of the future and the City’s vision for their new Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex are not in alignment.”

“I want to thank City Manager Lee Feldman for his thoughtful and considerable efforts to work with us on design changes and mutually beneficial terms might have made it possible for us to maintain a presence in this City,” says Wigo. “But in the end, we concluded that the compromises to our vision and business model that we would have had to make were not in the best interests of our organization. Therefore we have decided to close this chapter of our history and focus on finding a new home in another city that shares or vision.”

“We believe this difficult decision will give us the opportunity to bring new excitement and energy to both ISHOF and the swimming community as a whole. It will allow us to re-invent ourselves as a modern museum in a way that will rely upon the knowledge and expertise of our membership to create an exciting and interesting attraction that will appeal and be of interest to not only to millions of casual, recreational and competitive swimmers of the world, but to the multitudes of non-swimmers who we believe should be learning to swim for water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life.”

“ISHOF’s Board of Directors wish to express their thanks and sincere gratitude and appreciation to the citizens of the City of Fort Lauderdale for all the support they have given to our organization for the past fifty years.”

Follow ISHOF on Twitter here.

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This is release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of ISHOF.

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Wonder where it will end up? Indy, Santa Clara, Austin??


I think Jacksonville, Florida should bid for it. Jacksonville has a huge swimming history and tradition of aquatic excellence, and it’s situated in a way that hurricanes don’t really directly affect the area as the Gulf Stream pushes them away. It’s also probably the largest US city without a true, dedicated year-round public use aquatics facility, which is sadly ironic for a coastal city that is split in half by a river and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on where it would be placed, it could help to revitalize the downtown area, or bring more tourism to the beaches. If nothing else, it would require building a world-class aquatics center, which would bring events and revenue to the city,… Read more »

cynthia curran

Property taxes are much higher in Florida since it doesn’t have a state income tax. A lot of times actually you pay higher taxes without a state income tax, that’s why Louisiana didn’t abolish it. Florida and Texas pay property taxes as high as New York and New Jersey. In California you might have very low property tax if you brought before 1977, I heard people that pay only 900 a year in California in property taxes while in Florida and Texas that would be about 6,000. Granted, you pay income state but a senior citizen under prop 13 that brought their property before 1977 sometimes spends less overall taxes than a senior in Florida or Texas.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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