A new project was coming to southern Florida and it would be the largest entertainment undertaking in Florida since Disney themselves first came to the state decades before. Featuring sports stadiums, shopping districts, offices, hotels, and even a theme park, it would have dwarfed the likes of Universal Studios. The company behind it all? Blockbuster. Yup, that Blockbuster. This is the tale of Blockbuster Park and how the dream rose and fell in just two years.
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“Analysts question Blockbuster Park impact claims” (7/8/94)
“Huizenga sways shareholders, says buy, buy” (9/30/94)
“Blockbuster Park’s fate is up in the air” (9/30/94)
“Blockbuster Park poses transportation challenge” (1/24/94)
“Miramar wakes up to find plan for future of fun only a dream” (12/10/94)
“Ride’s over: Viacom kills Blockbuster Park” (12/10/94)
“Blockbuster plans shift, puzzling government officials” (2/5/94)
“Blockbuster park won’t get powers given to Disney” (2/5/94)
“Blockbuster buys land for entertainment park” (2/5/94)
“Deal gives Wayne a vast new world” (1/9/94)
“Merger seems to be a natural” (1/16/94)
“Park proposal can help water supply, Blockbuster says” (3/27/94)
“Blockbuster faces liquid obstacles” (3/27/94)
“Clock running for Blockbuster” (11/4/93)
“Blockbuster to seek tax district” (1/18/94)
“Blockbuster complex aims to please all” (11/16/93)
“Added attractions: a Blockbuster amusement park” (10/5/93)
“Blockbuster enters maze of regulation” (1/5/94)
“Blockbuster offers tax district plan” (1/26/94)
“Cars would swell traffic on roads around complex” (10/5/94)
St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Victory Leaves Viacom Saddled With Dept” (2/16/94)
“Viacom Wins Paramount Battle” (2/16/94)
“Theme-park neighbors find little joy in Wayne’s World” (6/22/94)
The Atlanta Constitution
“Viacom, Paramount merger complete” (7/8/94)
The Los Angeles Times
“Viacom-Blockbuster Deal Near Death” (5/3/94)
The Paducah Sun
“Viacom, Blockbuster merger may be on again” (8/24/94)
The Palm Beach Post
“Wayne’s world grows in leaps and bounds” (1/25/94)
“Huizenga considering sports center” (5/12/93)
The Tampa Tribune
“Viacom, QVC submit bids for Paramount” (12/21/93)
Blockbuster Park raises some really interesting “what ifs”. What if it had been built? Could it have helped keep Blockbuster afloat? What would it have done to the development of the Miami area? Would I have been able to use my Blockbuster card to get into the theme park?
Blockbuster Park wasn’t a project that died because of a fatal flaw in the design, or because of regulatory red tape, or even because Blockbuster didn’t have the money. It was simply an idea that was formed at the wrong place and the wrong time, and now, as with many projects over the course of history, all we can do is ask: what if?