Indian Wells Tennis Garden Completes $70M Expansion, Ready For Saturday Debut
Indian Wells Tennis Garden has "completed the largest expansion of the venue since it opened" in '00 for what is now called the BNP Paribas Open, according to Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. The new stadium "will debut Saturday" with the combined ATP/WTA event after renovations reportedly totaling $70M. The stadium's "walkways were widened" and opportunities for shade, "both inside and outside the new stadium, were increased and parking lots were expanded." The expansion is "a vehicle to grow" the BNP Paribas Open, which has "set attendance records in 13 of the past 14 years." Last year’s tournament "drew a record 382,227 fans over the 12-day event." Tournament Dir Steve Simon "projects to draw 420,000 fans this year" because of "the expansion and the buzz the tournament is creating." When spectators "walk through the palm tree-lined entrance, Stadium 3 will be on the left, the new Stadium 2 on the right and the gigantic video wall outside the main stadium will be straight ahead." Tournament CEO Raymond Moore said, "What’s really hit me is the entire site has been transformed. It’s completely different from anything that’s been here for 15 years" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 2/23). In L.A., Bill Dwyre notes with the new Stadium 2 "comes other bells and whistles," including the planting of "417 palm trees, at $3,000 a tree." The venue has "nine entry gates now, up from four," as well as "padded chairs around the first two rows of the main stadium's lower bowl." The facility also has "added 1,800 parking places, bringing the total to around 10,000." Total seating availability "at all the stadium courts" has been increased to 41,485. The project "scheduled to take 18 months was finished in 10 months and 10 days." Moore and Simon yesterday at a media walk-through "assured all that the project was 'done'" (L.A. TIMES, 2/25).