The International Swimming Hall of Fame has signed a 30-year lease to remain in Fort Lauderdale, Swimming World Magazine, which is now the same company as the ISHOF, announced in a press release on Tuesday.
After a $27 million renovation to the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, the ISHOF has signed a 30-year lease to remain in the south Florida city.
In 2015, the ISHOF announced that it would hold its induction ceremony in Sasnta Clara after signing a deal to move the hall across the country to northern California. The plan at the time was to locate the hall in a temporary space, with the city hoping to build a new 3-acre aquatic complex in Santa Clara that would include the new Hall of Fame.
Instead, the hall will stay in south Florida.
Financial documents included in the organization’s plan to move to Santa Clara included information that an audited financial report said the ISHOF was paying approximately $32,000 per month in rent and utilities. ISHOF CEO Brent Rutemiller says that this was “an accounting value and did not represent real cash.”
“The $380,000 is an accounting procedure based on the value of an ISHOF lease with the city of Santa Clara for ISHOF to be given office space in Santa Clara,” Rutemiller said. “The office space was to house ISHOF operations and HQ while a new aquatic facilty was being built. The office building was never fully utilized and sat inactive for most of the time.”
Rutemiller also said that there was no penalty for the termination of the agreement and lease with Santa Clara, because it was a Memorandum of Understanding and not a contract. He says that the International Swimming Hall of Fame will have its $5,000 deposit returned, plus interest.
“The ISHOF Board initiated the termination of the lease agreement and did not renew the MOU after finding out that the Santa Clara project was lacking financial mechanisms and local support,” Rutemiller said, refererring to the planned aquatic complex. “Fort Lauderdale has always presented the best option for ISHOF and we worked hard to support investments in the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.
“We are supportive of any future efforts for Santa Clara to build an Aquatic Complex, but ISHOF will not be moving its HQ to Santa Clara. We are open to having a footprint there, but it will not be our HQ. To my knowledge, the construction of a new Santa Clara aquatic facility is still a possibility, but will probably not be revisited until 2020.”