Details Emerge On Hard Rock Stadium Configuration For Hosting Tennis' Miami Open
Hard Rock Stadium is slated to host the ATP/WTA Miami Open in '19, and the Dolphins plan to "use curtains, bleachers and other features to temporarily downsize Hard Rock Stadium’s 65,000-seat playing space into a far more intimate setting," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. The matches are currently played "before a crowd of about 14,000 people each spring at the tennis arena at Crandon Park" in Key Biscayne. The football field would be "transformed into center court for marquee matches." Outside the stadium, parking lots to the south and west "would be transformed into a permanent tennis campus with upwards of 24 courts." Those would be "for the qualifying matches on the way to the championship rounds and form the outskirts of the tennis village similar to the one that each year encamps at Crandon." There would also be a "secondary grandstand with extra seating for medium-profile matches." Sources said that tournament owner/operator IMG has "resisted county and media requests to release renderings" of the proposed $53M redo of the Hard Rock Stadium campus. The current plan is to "release the renderings" Dec. 11 before the Patriots-Dolphins "MNF" game. The move of the event to Hard Rock Stadium comes as Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross is "trying to position his football stadium as a much broader entertainment hub." He has "recruited global soccer tournaments to capitalize on the sport’s popularity in South Florida, and now sees tennis as another way to boost traffic" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/5).