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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — The Miami Open, long-held in Key Biscayne, is entering a new era with its move to Miami Gardens.
Starting in 2019, the prestigious tennis tournament will be held at the Hard Rock Stadium – an endeavor that organizers say will bring a better fan experience, more player amenities, more parking, along with other things.
It’s also a new era for the stadium which will undergo some major changes which are shown in newly released renderings.
When it’s all done, the Miami Open will have 30 show and practice courts; a tennis oasis with a large video screen; a sponsorship village with expanded and upgraded entertainment spaces; permanent retail facilities; improved Wi-Fi, media facilities, locker rooms and fitness space for players and tennis staff.
The centerpiece of it all will be a new Center Court within a 14,000-seat stadium within the Hard Rock Stadium.
Organizers say the move would mean thousands of more parking spaces. They would also have nine more on-site courts and more seating about 7, 400 more on-site seating. As for stadium seating, they say it stays about the same with a 13,800 capacity.
The Miami Open’s move is breaking one of the oldest traditions of professional sports in the city.
The tennis tournament has been held in Key Biscayne for the last 32 years and will be held this year at Crandon Park for the last time.
The company who runs the event, IMG, said they worked will Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to keep the event in South Florida.
“The Miami Open belongs in Miami,” said WME and IMG Co-President Mark Shapiro.
“We are extremely excited that the Miami Open, a global entertainment event, will remain in our community,” said Ross.
Even tennis superstar Serena Williams had something to say about it.
“The Miami Open has been a part of Miami’s culture for as long as I can remember and it’s a tournament that is very special to me and my family,” said Williams. “I’ve enjoyed some of my best career moments in Miami thanks to the amazing tournament team and the supportive Miami fans. I am thrilled the Miami Open is staying in Miami, where it belongs.”