SBD/March 28, 2013/Facilities

Sony Open Organizers Target April '14 To Begin Crandon Park Tennis Center Upgrades

ATP/WTA Sony Open organizers yesterday said that they “hope to begin upgrading the Crandon Park Tennis Center in a year," after the venue's $50M renovations were approved by voters in November, according to Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. The tournament and Miami-Dade County first will “have to come to terms over the renovations for the county-owned park,” and those discussions have “yet to begin.” Organizers said that they “would like to begin the first phase of construction on April 1, 2014.” IMG Senior VP Adam Barrett, whose company runs the tournament, said that among the “first improvements would be multistory stadium additions and permanent courtside grandstands.” The first phase would “have to be completed before the annual tournament begins the following year, in March 2015.” The renovations would be “financed by private Sony Open funds and tennis center and tournament revenues -- ticket surcharges and parking fees -- without a reduction to the event’s payments to the county.” Organizers said that Miami-Dade would have to issue $50M in bonds that "would be paid off with tournament dollars, without the county being on the hook.” Meanwhile, a critic of the proposal has "sued to halt the plans" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/28). The plans include “three new stadiums, upgrading the current stadium and adding an acre of green space.” The new stadiums “would seat 3,000 to 6,000” each (AP, 3/27).
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