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Miami Open Tennis
America’s tennis legacy grows every year in South Florida. As its 2022 edition approaches this weekend, the Miami Open explores its rich history and growing footprint.
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The Miami Open has become one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar. Held the week after Indian Wells, it helps to be at the heart of the tennis season and, like Indian Wells, is one of nine events that award up to 1,000 ranking points to the winner. Apart from the Grand Slams and year-end tournaments, the ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 events are the most important tournaments and attract the biggest 96 players.
Watching the likes of Roger Federer, Sloane Stephens and John Isner lift the trophy has been a lot of fun in recent years. In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that the Miami Open wasn’t always the spectacle it is today. In fact, it was known as the “Sony Open” until 2014, when Itaú – a major Latin American bank – became the presenting sponsor and changed the name.
The Miami Open was held at Grandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida from 1987 to 2018. Along with IMG, which has run the tournament since 1999, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross helped move the Miami Open to Hard Rock Stadium. He built a permanent tennis facility around his soccer field.
Then James Blake, a former American tennis player, ranked 4th in the world, was appointed tournament director.
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Blake knows the importance of the Miami Open to American tennis. While the tournament is valuable for any player looking to improve their world ranking, it is especially important for the Americans. Miami is one of three ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments on home soil and gives them the opportunity to showcase their talents to home fans who are more likely to watch American tournaments than other major events around the world. .
“After Grandon Park, there were conversations about where the event was going to go,” Blake said. “To have him in Miami, to have him in the States, it was really a pleasure. I was afraid. I was nervous that it would disappear. If it goes away, you’re going to take away the opportunity [for Americans] to have that big moment. To have a big moment in front of your home crowd, that’s really the start of a career.
Miami’s moments are certainly big. The stadium has a 5,000-seat grandstand and two other playing fields adjacent to the main stadium, where a 13,800-seat center court is built each year using temporary stands and half of the existing seats. place. A gondola rides up that takes you through the entire facility and allows you to simultaneously watch the tennis below and the Miami skyline in the distance.
Fields rival the US Open in Flushing, Queens, New York, and may be even bigger; It’s easy to get lost with the number of lawns, food courts and actual tennis courts.
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When the Miami Open moved to Hard Rock Stadium, it boasted more than 390,000 fans and set an attendance record of more than 60,000. Blake expects this year’s Open to break that record, an impressive feat since the Miami Open was absent in 2020 .and was held at only 20% capacity last year.
While American tennis players could benefit from the platform set by the expected record crowd, brands also have an opportunity to cash in. There are countless activities in Miami everywhere you look.
Buchholz Family Court is one of the sunniest spots in the facility and sitting in the hot Miami sun without any shade in the afternoon was absolutely brutal to watch the entire game. This is where Michelob Ultra took the opportunity to build a terrace overlooking the pitch, giving fans the chance to watch matches in air conditioning and shade and enjoy their fresh organic seltzers. You can take a break and put on VR glasses to play virtual tennis.
“As the race goes on, it’s going to be one of the best places for people to be,” Blake said. “You can sit there and drink wine, beer, seltzer and enjoy the race. I think these are really sought after places.
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Behind it are several large structures. One is run by the tournament and has a merchandise shop downstairs and a members’ area upstairs, where British No. 1 Cameron Norrie stopped by for a pre-tournament “sock talk”. Speaking to one of the store’s busy team members, they couldn’t remember a time
It is busy and the shop is open about 12 hours a day. Next to it is a three-story Lacoste store that sells tennis and non-tennis apparel.
There’s Kiki’s on the River, a popular Miami restaurant that was activated at the Miami Open and offers a bird’s-eye view of courts five through seven. If you’re passing by, you’ll find a DJ spinning all day on the Baptist Health lawn. With these companies getting in on the tournament fun and some amazing local restaurants opening their booths, there is literally no end to the variety of entertainment and refreshments on the field.
“Miami is unique because it’s very special culturally; you have a large Latino population here,” Blake said. “It looks like an extraordinary melting pot and that’s what we want to see. We’ve all become tennis fans, so we want to express that. We have amazing Latino players. They get huge support here, the Americans get huge support. It shows great combination.”
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Speaking of great blends, you can buy some of Jimmy Butler’s coffee at the Miami Open. Yes,
Jimmy Butler — the Miami Heat superstar who brought premium coffee into the 2020 NBA bubble and sells it for $20 a cup — then launched his BigFace Coffee company last October.
There are three locations on the BIGFACE site. One is available to VIP patrons outside Club 72 at Hard Rock Stadium, while the other two are located in the players’ dining area and the players’ lounge, which opens later at night. There you can order coffee made from BIGFACE’s “Cup of Excellence” beans that scored 90.54 and above in the industry’s best competition. They have also produced two eye-catching drinks:
Bigface was the perfect combination of Butler’s love of tennis and the perfect timing for his business. Without bricks and mortar, its coffee beans and products are sold exclusively online. Watching customers react to his coffee in real time is something he hasn’t been able to do since launch.
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“I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but it seems like all the other players are and everyone comes up to me and says how great it is,” Blake said. “It makes us feel good to partner with a Miami legend who is also doing something really special with his other passion outside of basketball.”
Blake noted that Butler fell last year when access to the program was limited, and that he spent as much time on center court as he did on the smaller courts around the court.
From Jimmy Buckets to organic Seltzer Activations to activated charcoal, it’s all happening in Miami this week. An influx of tennis fans—beginners and die-hards alike—flocked to Hard Rock Stadium to see the spectacle. It’s hard to imagine where American tennis would be without major tournaments like the Miami Open, and the more people who want the action, the better the experience for visitors.
If you’re interested in stopping by, you might catch a superstar athlete — or see one in the making.
Miami Open Tennis Tournament 2022 Has Started :
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