2014/10/31

A Walking Tour of the BNP Paribas Open

A Walking Tour of the BNP Paribas Open

By Jennifer Knapp

 

( march 13, 2012)Welcome to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home of the BNP Paribas Open since 2000.  Spanning 88 acres, the complex has a total of 11 match and 6 practice courts, paved and has undergone continuous improvements over the past 12 years.  As someone who has attended the tournament since the earlier days at the Hyatt Grand Champions, I can personally vouch for the fact that it gets better and better every year! It’s absolutely beautiful facility and I thought I would take you on a photo tour  starting with the North Entrance gate:

Once you’ve gone through the mandatory bag check, you be heading directly towards Stadium One.  To your right is the BNP Paribas merchandise store, the Emirates hospitality tent and the FILA store. Smack in the middle is one of 2 very popular Corona tents.  There are additional sponsor booths along the walkway as well.

To your left you’ll see the expanded foot court that includes the newly added shade structure, a much needed an appreciated feature added for 2012. The food options are plenty and with a central bar, large screen television and stage, the area is hugely popular with the fans especially on hot, sunny days.

As you make your way towards the stadium, you’ll happen on the primary seating area complete with an exceptionally large screen and plenty of tables and chairs.  It’s a fantastic place to meet up with friends and catch more than one match at time.

To your left and across the way is Stadium 2. It’s the second largest court and the location of many, many great matches.  The master draw board can be found directly adjacent to the court.

(above) Walking towards Stadium 2 from southwest side

 

(above) Walking towards Stadium 2 from northwest side.

 

Stadium 2 is both large and intimate. If that’s possible.  You can sit courtside or enjoy the expanded view that includes the mountains and that ever important breeze.

Behind Stadium Two are Courts 4 -6.  While they are the smallest in terms of available seating , the are perhaps the BEST places to catch a match as you are literally right on top of the action.  If you sit in the front row on either baseline side, you are one step from being on the court.  It’s truly an unbelievable experience.

Making your way past these 3 courts, you end up on the south side near Courts 7 & 8, the newest show courts to add significant seating.  For many years, these two courts had nothing more than the 3 rows of concrete steps on the baseline side and were used primarily for practice.

 

The last court you come to as your make your way around the grounds is Stadium 3, which is directly adjacent to the practice courts.  Not a bad seat in the house and easy access to the bathrooms and water fountain, which are both important in their own way.

 

The view from the inside Stadium 3 equals that of each of the other courts.  There are mountains everywhere!

Immediately next to Stadium 3 are the 4 main practice courts and the infamous grassy playing field where at any time you can see multiple players training and/or a pick up game of footy (soccer).  Word is that the developer didn’t plan on the playing field, but it’s become one of the most popular places onsite.

 

 

With the courts marking the south and east perimeter of the property, there is a huge grassy and now shaded area for fans to enjoy.  When the Tennis Garden first opened in 2000, there was zero shade and no trees but over the past several years, the landscape has totally matured.

One the most popular areas on the grounds  at least for the 21 years and older set is the main Corona tent, situated in the center of the grassy area between Stadiums 1 and 2.

View walking from away from Stadium 2.

View walking towards Stadium 2.

 

After all of that walking, it’s time to head into Stadium One.  The best overall view by far is from the Loge/Grandstand level.  On our way up the stairs, you get an amazing view of the practice courts:

And once you’re up at the top – the view is even better

 

So there you have it!  A walking tour of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  It’s an absolutely amazing place and well worth the trip! Hope to see you on the grounds next year!

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