International Swimming Hall of Fame Is Leaving Fort Lauderdale

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The International Swimming Hall of Fame, which has made its home in Fort Lauderdale since 1964, will be leaving the area when the lease is up in two years.

Last week, the hall's board of directors voted to stop contract negotiations with the City of Fort Lauderdale and pack up their memorabilia -- such as Mark Spitz's starting blocks, Jenny Thompson's medals, and Greg Louganis' stuff -- and relocate someplace else.

They might even move the hall to California.

Hall of Fame Director Bruce Wigo said they didn't like the renovation plans for the Aquatic Complex on Seabreeze Boulevard and took a vote on it.

The vote was a unanimous 11-0 to move where they can set up at a more modern location.

"The vision we have for our future and the vision the city has for its new Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex are not in alignment," Wigo told the Sun Sentinel.

The Aquatic Complex has been losing about $1.2 million a year in recent years.

Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman told the Miami Herald that the city could not give the $50,000 annual subsidy the hall was seeking.

"The bottom line is we would gladly provide space and forgo millions of dollars in potential rent, but we're not in a position to provide that subsidy," Feldman said.

The hall is home to memorabilia and artifacts from some of swimming's most memorable moments. From swimwear and memorabilia used by world-class swimmers throughout history to exhibits immortalizing great achievements in aquatic sports, the hall has been a fixture in Fort Lauderdale for 50 years.

Now, sadly, come 2015, it'll be taking its talents somewhere else.

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