Swimming Hall of Fame Remains in Fort Lauderdale, Signs 30-Year Lease

ISHOF - International Swimming Hall of Fame
Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Fresh off the heels of a $27 million renovation project to the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), signed a 30-year lease to remain in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

ISHOF erected its world-renowned museum and shrine to aquatic sports in Fort Lauderdale back in 1965. The lease with the city expired in 2015, putting the iconic entity in a state of limbo.  For the past three years, ISHOF had been on a month-to-month lease.  With the Aquatic Complex in disrepair, bleachers condemned and no long-term lease, ISHOF elected to move its operations to Santa Clara, CA..

The decision to relocate to Santa Clara was based mostly on a belief that a new $250 million aquatic complex was going to be built in Santa Clara and ISHOF would be a primary occupant.

The Santa Clara project stalled in 2017.  In November of that year, Bruce Wigo stepped down as the CEO of ISHOF and the ISHOF Board of Directors hired Brent Rutemiller as its CEO.  Rutemiller convinced Wigo to remain on as ISHOF’s historian.  With a new team and board in place, ISHOF re-engaged with Lee Feldman, Fort Lauderdale City Manager to remain in Fort Lauderdale and find dollars to renovate the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

“Today starts a new era for the City of Fort Lauderdale, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and the aquatic community worldwide. We are very excited about the future of ISHOF and want to thank Lee Feldman, Mayor Dean Trantalis, Commissioner Steven GlassmanHeather MoraitisRobert McKinzie and Ben Sorensen for their trust and support for ISHOF and their vision for this iconic aquatic complex,” said Rutemiller.

“We look forward to building this relationship into a model of how a city can work with a non-profit entity that has mutual goals for the community. This is only the start.  Our next step is to look at other infrastructural improvements relating to the museum and our incredible one- of-a-kind memorabilia.”


  1. SwimKit


  2. avatar
    Marcos Van Dorn

    Outstanding! The International Swimming Hall of Fame Is an inspirational testament to swimming and our spectacular Fort Lauderdale community.

  3. avatar

    Many congratulations Brend! I cannot wait to see the “lifting” of the place and help with all my strength in any way you need me. New era, new dreams!

  4. Cheryl Nestor

    So glad we got to tour when on vacation ?