Miami Open to Move to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019

21 December 2017

After years of losing its development and falling behind, the Miami Open tennis tournament in Florida has agreed to move to a larger space and build anew.

The tournament will be building its new site in and around the Hard Rock Stadium, where the NFL’s Miami Dolphins play home games. In its current form, the stadium seats 65,000 people—too large for tennis. The tennis section will seat 14,000, the tournament said. The Open will build other courts and amenities outside the main stadium. The tournament said it would begin in its new home in 2019.

The move in Miami comes after years of being outclassed by the Indian Wells tournament in California, owned by Larry Ellison. That event has become the finest in America outside the U.S. Open, with comfortable courts, ideal practice areas, and a wide variety of food. More important, the event has a lot more space than the current Miami tournament, which was not allowed to be expanded. The Miami tournament is owned by IMG.

The new Miami Open will have 30 competition and practice courts; large video screens; stores; media facilities; locker rooms and fitness for players and tennis staff.

The move of the tournament was strongly supported by Serena Williams, who is an investor in the Miami Dolphins. “The Miami Open has been a part of Miami’s culture for as long as I can remember and it’s a tournament that is very special to me and my family,” Williams said. “I am thrilled the Miami Open is staying in Miami, where it belongs.”

The change for the tournament is a relief for the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open and promotes American tennis. For a while it seemed the Miami Open would leave for a foreign country, making America short of another tournament. This deal means America will continue to have two prominent events in March (Indian Wells) and April (Miami) each year.