SBD/March 18, 2014/Events and Attractions

BNP Paribas Open Shatters All-Time Attendance Record, Draws 431,527 Fans

The BNP Paribas Open "broke an attendance record for the 14th time in the 15 years the event has been held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden," according to a front-page piece by Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. The '14 event "drew 431,527 fans, shattering last year’s record of 382,227." Part of the reason for the "nearly 50,000 increase in attendance was an expansion of parking, bringing the total number of parking spots to 13,000." The big first weekend of the tournament on March 8-9 "drew a combined 96,309 fans alone -- an increase of nearly 11,000 fans from a year ago." One of the "most talked about features at the new stadium was three fine-dining options." BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore said that despite carrying high-end prices, the "response was overwhelming." While the BNP Paribas Open has "set a goal of 500,000 attendance within the next four years, the new obstacle appears to be available hotel rooms, or the lack of them during the tournament." Meanwhile, Moore said that he has "initiated talks" with Suns investor Richard Heckmann about bringing the team "back to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for an NBA outdoor preseason basketball game." Moore "hinted the Suns won’t be the only team he talks to" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 3/18).
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