Miami-Dade Commissioners Approve $50M Expansion To Crandon Park Tennis Center
Miami-Dade County commissioners yesterday approved a $50M expansion to the Crandon Park Tennis Center, saying that the upgrades by the ATP/WTA Sony Open "would benefit a majority of the community," according to Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. However, the approval "does not mean construction is imminent." The tennis center makeover would "still need to be approved by a committee that oversees the future of Crandon Park." Sony Open organizers, who "want to break ground on the project in April, plan to challenge that procedural step in court." Last year, nearly 73% of voters "authorized the county to move forward with the expansion, which would be funded by tournament revenues such as parking fees and ticket surcharges." Among the renovations would be "enlarging the footprint of the tennis center’s main stadium and building three new permanent grandstands." To make room "for more hard courts used by the tournament, six clay courts and two grass courts would go away." That brought "a contingent of local tennis players to County Hall to protest." Reps of the tourney, owned by IMG and run by the local Int'l Players Championship firm, have said that the upgrades "are necessary to continue attracting big-name tennis players and more than 300,000 fans a year" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/6).