BNP Paribas Open Unveils Plans To Increase Attendance, Build New Stadium
ATP/WTA BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore “unveiled ambitious plans Tuesday to grow the international tennis event to attract 500,000 fans within five years,” and included in those plans is the “construction of a new 8,000-seat stadium to debut by 2014,” according to Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. In addition to the new stadium, plans call for “a new parking lot, entrance and box office, among other infrastructure improvements.” Moore said, “It’s an aggressive timeline and it’s an aggressive program.” He added tournament Owner Larry Ellison “doesn’t know anything else.” The proposed stadium “would be built on the north end of the 16,100-seat main stadium.” Moore said that designers have “come up with two different stadium plans at different cost points.” Moore: “We’ll be creating jobs. If we can get it done by 2014, we’ll be very happy, very excited. We will need a lot of cooperation from the city and the agencies that issue permits and approvals. We’re going through that whole process as we speak.” The tournament, which has “broken attendance records in 12 of the 13 years" since moving into Indian Wells Tennis Garden, "attracted a record 370,406 fans in March, surpassing 2011’s mark of 350,086.” Ellison during this year’s event said that he “plans to attract half-a-million fans in five years.” The BNP Paribas Open at 500,000 fans “would attract more fans than two of the sport’s Grand Slam tournaments -- Wimbledon and the French Open.” A new stadium “might allow the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to hold more events.” Moore said, “The smaller stadium will be more intimate. We’ll be able to do events there with the smaller audience. It gives us more options than we usually have” (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 10/3).