August 31, 2015

Recap of 2015 Tennis Industry Association Tennis Summit at Indian Wells

tia

From the Tennis Industry Association: RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF. (March 25, 2015) – A high-powered lineup of tennis, sports and business executives shared their insights, issues, and concerns at the 2015 Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Summit, held March 17-18 in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. The event was held at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in nearby Rancho Mirage.

 

Among the speakers at the Tennis Summit were TV sports broadcaster Ted Robinson, sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr, USTA President and CEO Katrina Adams, Women’s Tennis Association Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster, ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, Life Time Fitness Founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, Sports & Fitness Industry Association President and CEO Tom Cove, U.S. Professional Tennis Association CEO John Embree, Professional Tennis Registry CEO Dan Santorum, Tennis Hall of Fame coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, tennis management company founder and former pro player Peter Burwash, Mylan World TeamTennis CEO and Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Tennis Magazine Publisher Jeff Williams, and Tennis Channel Vice President David Egdes.

 

“We brought together a terrific lineup of tennis industry executives, legends, pros, coaches and other sports and business personalities to examine the state of the tennis industry and the sport,” said TIA President Greg Mason. “Our speakers hit key topics and themes that will affect growth in every segment of the tennis industry. Plus, attendees were able to ask questions and make comments at a number of ‘Open Forums.’ The interaction produced spirited discussions that will help the sport move forward.”

 

Topics that were addressed at the Summit included:

  • How the sport can remain relevant-and grow-in today’s business climate.
  • The importance of tennis in today’s society and what the sport can learn from other sports.
  • Challenges and opportunities facing tennis, including the key tennis delivery system and teaching professionals.
  • The drive for healthy and fit lifestyles through tennis.
  • The importance of two major tennis infrastructure projects-one in Florida, the other in at the US Open in New York-to the growth of the sport.
  • The growth of the professional tours and how they’re connecting with grassroots players.
  • How digital media is changing the landscape of sports entertainment.

Mason, TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer and sports marketing research expert Keith Storey led off the Summit with the “State of the Industry.” Among the data they presented was the value of the overall “tennis economy,” which was at 5.73 billion at year-end 2014, up 3 percent from 2013.

 

Mason outlined concerns he has about the industry, including the fact that 1.5 million fewer entry-level tennis racquets were purchased from 2008 to 2014. Another concern is the age of the average tennis player is getting older. “We need to make sure we’re doing all we can to attract younger players to our sport,” he said, adding that it also extends to needing to bring younger people into the business of tennis, too.

 

One key to helping boost participation, Mason said, is the industry-wide initiative “Try Tennis Free,” which runs throughout the month of May and is designed to give new and returning players an opportunity to get into tennis for free at local facilities and with local pros. “The Try Tennis Free campaign can bring in large numbers of players, of all ages, looking to benefit from all that tennis has to offer,” he said. Mason urged all tennis providers to register their free program offers at PlayTennis.com.

 

Following Mason and the TIA, Tom Cove, the CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, identified and defined key trends that will impact the tennis and sports industries, among them that health and wellness will be the “No. 1 driver” of sports participation in 2015 and that “parents want a good experience for the whole family” when it comes to sports and recreation.

 

Cove also discussed the “inactivity pandemic” in the U.S., including how 80 million Americans on a recent survey reported they do no sports or activity at all. “Inactivity has increased 28 percent over the past seven years,” Cove said. “We need to build a culture of activity based on fun sports activities.”

 

Katrina Adams, the new president, chairman and CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), talked about her priorities for her two-year term, which includes targeting the Hispanic community as a way to give tennis participation a boost in the U.S. Her goals also include finding more and better ways to reach out to recreational high school players, which she called a “huge opportunity” for the industry, and also emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship in tennis. Adams also plans to continue to increase the USTA’s collaboration and partnerships with other groups and organizations.

 

USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith discussed the ongoing improvements to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, home of the US Open. Plans call for spending more than $500 million over the next four years, including construction of a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s important to be the leader, especially in the sports and entertainment capital of the world,” he said.

 

Smith also discussed the major, 102-court facility the USTA will build at Lake Nona, Fla., which will break ground on April 18 and has been dubbed the “new home of American tennis.” The site will serve as a training ground for players and coaches, and will be the home to the USTA Player Development and Community Tennis departments.

 

The professional game was on display with updates from WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster and ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, who both discussed plans for growth of the women’s and men’s tours, respectively. Allaster then joined a panel with David Egdes of Tennis Channel, Ilana Kloss of Mylan World TeamTennis and J. Wayne Richmond of the Emirates Airline US Open Series for a discussion on how the pro tours and their players connect to the grassroots.

 

World-renowned sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr wrapped up the Summit’s first day with insights into how the tennis and sports industry can remain relevant to today’s athletes and culture.

 

“There is a lot of competition for kids’ participation in sports and activities,” Loehr said. “Tennis must do a better job of addressing parents to let them know how tennis is different than any other sport. How do we accelerate tennis learning? How do we make tennis friendlier? How do we make learning tennis more fun? How do we awaken the world to the value of tennis in life?”

 

Loehr added that the industry needs to do a better job selling tennis to parents, noting several points that work in tennis’s favor, including how the sport provides a full-body workout, exercises the brain, can be played for a lifetime, and helps to make a better, more fully functioning person.

 

The second day opened with Emmy Award-winning TV sportscaster Ted Robinson, who offered his take on the importance of tennis in today’s society and on what tennis can learn from other sports. “Tennis is unique in that some of the greatest players still talk about tennis and are great ambassadors for the sport,” he said.

 

To bring more spectators and participants into the sport, Robinson said technology was vital, especially for embracing millennials through digital content. “Be proud of tennis,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal activity.”

 

Life Time Fitness founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, named Tennis Industry magazine’s “Person of the Year” for his company’s commitment to tennis, explained why tennis has been a wise investment for his business and how he is looking to help the sport grow through his facilities. Life Time Fitness is the largest operator of indoor courts in the U.S. At Life Time facilities, “Tennis courts change the space from a fitness club to a country club,” Akradi said. “If there’s any chance to put in tennis courts, we will. Tennis is here to stay, and we plan to grow it at every opportunity.”

 

The USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, Kurt Kamperman, led a panel discussion and Open Forum on the challenges and opportunities of growing tennis at the recreational level. Panelist included the heads of the two main teaching professional organizations: Dan Santorum of the PTR and John Embree of the USPTA.

 

“Millennial parents want more local sports, shorter play formats, and non-elimination formats,” Kamperman said. “We’ve got senior players covered, but we still have work to do with youth players and getting them into the game.”

 

Peter Burwash, a former pro tour player and founder of a major tennis management company, and frequent speaker for Fortune 500 companies, discussed lessons he learned in his personal and professional life in tennis and how they can apply to growing this sport. He gave his list of the characteristics of a good leader: enthusiasm, great creativity, expanding your horizons, empathy and appreciation. “The strongest leaders are lifetime learners,” he added.

 

Immediately following the Tennis Summit, on March 18-19, top tennis facility managers and consultants shared their knowledge and experience at the third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, also presented by the TIA.

Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, who received the highest honor in tennis last July when he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, spoke at a lunch kicking off the T.O.M. Conference, praising tennis and asking what other sport you can play well into your 90s. “Keep your mission top of mind at all times,” he told the crowd, “and don’t be afraid to fail-it’s critical to success.”

 

“As a follow-up to both the Tennis Summit and the T.O.M. Conference, we’re meeting to outline a plan that we hope will go a long way to achieving transformational change within this industry,” said de Boer of the TIA. “These conferences examined the industry and our sport, and where it’s headed, and helped to define ways to ensure growth. We want to make sure we’re on the right path for the long-term.”

 

The TIA plans to present its annual Tennis Forum on Aug. 31 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, as the US Open begins. Details for 2016 tennis industry events will be announced in the near future. Visit TennisIndustry.org for more information.

 

TIA Board of Directors

adidas: David Malinowski
America Sports Builders Assoc.: Fred Stringfellow
ATP World Tour: Linda Clark
Babolat: Eric Babolat
Dunlop Sports Group: Kai Nitsche
ESPN: Jason Bernstein
HEAD Penn Racquet Sports: Greg Mason (TIA President)
IHRSA: Meredith Poppler
International Management Group: Kevin Callanan
International Tennis Federation: Dave Miley
International Tennis Hall of Fame: Todd Martin
Mylan World TeamTennis: Ilana Kloss
Prince Sports: Mike Ballardie
Professional Tennis Registry: Dan Santorum
Sports & Fitness Industry Association: Tom Cove
Tennis Channel: David Egdes
Tennis Magazine: Jeff Williams
U.S. Professional Tennis Association: John Embree
U.S. Racquet Stringers Association: David Bone
U.S. Tennis Association: Kurt Kamperman
Wilson Sporting Goods: Cory Springer
WTA Tennis: Stacey Allaster
TIA Retail Representative: Jim Fromuth

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Djokovic Does the Double

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 22, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, California – After the drawn out drama of the women’s final and over an hour later than planned, defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer took to the court for their final, and with the anticipation of perhaps another three set thriller on the cards.

 

First blood though went to the Djokovic, who closed out a ruthless break, for a 4-2 lead, and although Federer asked the question for him to serve it out, he snapped up the first set 6-3.

 

It was imperative for Federer to get off to a quick start, and it looked as though he would settle, but another loose game helped Djokovic take advantage for an early break at the start of the second.

 

Djokovic was making the difference in his return games, taking the time away from Federer in the distinctly cooler conditions today than for the majority of the tournament, but Federer needed to settle to try and at least stay in contention, before time ran out to make his move.

 

Suddenly the momentum shifted as Federer took advantage of a dip in Djokovic’s game to level at 4-4 with a break that got the crowd alive, roaring their approval and silencing the small enthusiastic group of Serbians in the nosebleeds.

 

Holding in perhaps his most commanding form since the very start of the match, the pressure was very firmly on Djokovic now as the errors started to stack up from the Serbian, as he served to stay in the set. A slightly more confident hold to love brought him into a second set tie-break.

 

With Djokovic taking the early momentum, Federer slowly got himself back into contention as the pressure got to the defending champion, double-faulting on his serve to bring Federer level at 5-5. A second double fault handed the advantage right back at the Swiss with two serves to come at 6-5. He needed just the one set point to send the final into an electric decider.

 

Perhaps it was inevitable that the defending champion would come out swinging maybe a little more freely, and quickly took a 2-0 advantage before the nerves seemed to grip him again, opening the door for Federer to charge back in to get the match back on serve.

 

It was Djokovic who surged to a lead once more, at 5-2, with Federer serving to stay in the championship.

 

For a match that could so easily have been settled in straight sets, Federer had done well to fight back, but a tired shank gave the Serbian the match points he needed, as he closed out the win 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2, a title defence, and draws level with Federer in terms of titles won here.

 

Coming first into press, Federer analyzed where the match was won (and in his case lost):

 

“For a long time I was always trailing. I was putting myself under pressure unnecessarily sometimes on my own serve. But that was, again, a credit to Novak’s great way of returning second serves.

 

“He’s always going to catch some first serves, especially here where it’s not as fast. I knew it was going to be tough. That was the most disappointing part I was telling myself throughout the match. It’s like where is that return on the first serve? “

 

He continued: “Midway through the second it started to get better and I got into more rallies, and that’s where I think it became close again. That was tougher for him, because all of a sudden I think I was playing better so he wasn’t getting as many free points. He had to pull back and play a bit more safe. So it was from my side a bit more up and down, and he was just more solid. That’s why he totally deserved to win today, in my opinion.”

 

Djokovic was presented with a cake celebrating his 50th title, which surpasses coach Boris Becker’s 49 titles, and the World No. 1 described how that felt along with his assessment of the match.

 

He said: “I thought set and a break and it was a break point for 5‑2 up. I thought I could have done the job earlier. Credit to Roger for fighting through. Showed again why he’s a competitor and champion, somebody that never gives up. When we got to the third set obviously it was anybody’s game.

 

“I managed to regroup [and] overcome that frustration of handing that tiebreak to him with three double faults in crucial moments. But that’s sport. Obviously under pressure sometimes these things happen and it’s important to regroup, bounce back, and focus on next one.”

 

He continued: “I’ve got to look forward to get to Miami and have a dinner with Boris. I think it’s on him this time. (Smiling.) I surpassed his 49th title, so that gives a little bit of special spice to this title.”

 

While Federer is skipping Miami this year, Djokovic will travel on to defend his title and attempt the double once more.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to Clash in Indian Wells Final

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 21, 2015) The top two men’s tennis players will face off in the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in Indian Wells, California.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated No. 4 Andy Murray 6-2, 6-3 in the first semifinal of the day, a rematch of the Australian Open final, while No. 2 Roger Federer bested Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4.

In Sunday’s final, defending champion Djokovic will be aiming to capture his fourth Indian Wells tournament, while Federer will be going for his fifth title in the desert. Federer leads Djokovic 20-17 in their head-to-head records.

Djokovic is now 17-8 against Murray, after winning for the sixth straight time against the Brit. Djokovic is 18- 2 on the year.

Considering this was probably the first match that I’ve played in the day in the entire year ‑‑ because I have played Doha, Dubai, Australian Open, and 90% of the matches I played during the night ‑‑ I thought I handled the conditions well.

It wasn’t easy, but I needed some time to adjust. The fact that I’m in another finals makes me definitely feel very good, very confident.

I had a phenomenal start of the season, and hopefully I can, you know, do my best tomorrow and maybe get another trophy.

Murray had a below average serving day against the Serb, losing his serve four times in the match.

“I tried to go for a few more serves today and to try to get a few more free points, but, you know, serving 50% or just below is, you know, not good enough against the best players,” sais Murray. “You obviously need to serve better.

“I thought I actually hit my second serve better than I did in Australia today, but first‑serve percentage was too low.”

Murray had 29 unforced errors and only seven winners in the contest

“I think obviously I didn’t start either of the sets well,” Murray said. “That obviously makes things difficult against the best players. I mean, Novak didn’t give me any free points at the beginning of either of the sets, and I made a few too many errors early on.

“Then, you know, in the end of both sets, middle of both sets, I started to play a bit better and made it tougher and was able to push him a bit, but not enough at the beginning of the sets to make it challenging enough for him.”

“I thought I played solid, with the right intensity from the beginning,” said Djokovic. “Good first‑serve percentage. Got some free points there in the important moments.

“Just overall it was a good performance.”

Djokovic admitted that his opponent did preform as well as he could have.

“Even though it’s a straight‑set victory, I still had to earn it,” Djokovic stated. “I thought that he hasn’t played close to his highest level. Made a lot of unforced errors, especially from the forehand side. Low percentage of first serves in. That allowed me to obviously step in and be aggressive.”

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Milos Raonic broke up the potential “Big Four” reunion in the semifinals when he upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals on Friday. Raonic tested Federer in the straight set loss on Saturday.

The hard-serving Canadian was broken in the eleventh game of the first set, which the Swiss closed out 7-5 in 45 minutes. Federer opened the second set with a break, and never looked back.

Federer has now reached his 40th Masters Series 1000 final. Federer claimed the desert crown 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

“I’m very happy how well I’m playing,” said Federer. “Feel good physically. Obviously I feel refreshed after the holiday. I’m serving well, which is always crucial.”

“He was neutralizing well on the serve, but especially during the points I felt like a few times I was able to stretch him,” Raonic said.

“He was doing a good job of getting legs behind and always playing deep cross so I could never find that short forehand I was looking for.”

“I wish I would have served a higher percentage, but I felt like when I was putting my first serve in I was doing a good job,” the Canadian explained. “I don’t think I mixed up my second serve enough.”

Djokovic discussed the possibility of playing Federer in the final:

“If I get to play Roger, it’s the ultimate final that right now I can have. Probably the player that is in the best form. You know, in the last 12 months he’s been playing some of his best tennis, I thought.

“Especially after, for his standards, pretty average season in 2013. He came back and played the finals in Wimbledon, played some great tournaments, won titles, and we had a fight for No. 1 spot all the way up to last couple of matches in London.

“He started off the year well again except that third‑round loss in the Australian Open. He won two titles. You know, he’s playing great. There no question about it.

“We all know that Roger, with all his records, we know the experience that he has. He’s not expected to play nothing less than his best in these stages of the tournament.

“He’s been proving that. He won so many titles. He loves the big occasions, and I’m sure he’s gonna come out wanting to win, being aggressive.

“He moves great. I thought since he changed the racquet it helped him with maybe reaching balls in the defense that he wasn’t able to do maybe before that. Seems like he has more control in the backhand. Great serve, as always.

“So he’s a very complete player. No question about it.”

“One thing about Roger is that he always makes you play highest level if you want to win against him,” Djokovic added.

“That’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. This is something that makes me come out with the highest possible concentration and intensity and commitment. If I want to win that match and win this title, I definitely need to be on top of my game.”

“After losing so close last year I was quite disappointed, even though I was happy how I was playing,” said Federer. “Can’t wait until we get a chance again to play him here, because you have to wait one entire year, got to win another five matches, and finally you’re in the finals again.

“So I think it’s very exciting for both of us, and also for fans, to see a rematch of the great final from last year. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope I can keep up my good play.”

“I like these big matches. I have been playing so well and I don’t feel tired. I feel great going into the finals, and I hope I can keep up this kind of a level. I know I need an extra special performance tomorrow because Novak’s going to push you there to come up with a lot of great shots in a row, which is not always easy to do.

“So I will see how it goes.”

Asked if his rivalry Djokovic is on par with Rafael Nadal, Federer said: “It will never be the same. Not better or worse. It just will be different just because the matchup is so unique for me with Rafa; whereas Novak’s is totally, like I said, straightforward.

“With Rafa I feel like I need to change everything when I play him. I have played so many times against Rafa on clay, as well, that it feels different; whereas Novak has been a much more of a hard court rivalry, whereas with Rafa has been more clay and grass.”

Federer on his rivalry with Djokovic: “What remains is that you know it’s always been tough against him. I have seen the rise of him, you know, as he’s gotten fitter and more match tough, mentally tougher, became one of the best movers we have in the game. It’s been nice seeing him do that, you know, and improve as you move along.

“Sometimes I wonder if everybody’s willing to improve as much as Novak did. It’s been interesting to see him figure his game out, and I’m happy I can still hang with him. I must be quite honest, because he’s in his absolute prime right now, and I enjoy the challenge of him. I hope he enjoys my challenge.

“So we will see tomorrow, but I think it’s a very dynamic rivalry we have. Great movement. I don’t think we need to change our games very much when we play each other. We can just go out there and play our game, which I think is quite cool also for fans and for ourselves, which is interesting.”

 

 

 

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Mardy Fish Returns to Tennis, Falls in Three-set Battle to Ryan Harrison in First Round of BNP Paribas Open

(March 12, 2015) Former world No. 7 Mardy Fish returned to the court under a protected ranking, for the first time in over 18 months on Thursday in Indian Wells, California. Fish was off the tour due to heart problems which have bothered him since 2012.

The 33-year-old Fish put up a good fight for 2 hours and 36 minutes and even had two match points in falling to fellow American, 22-year-old Ryan Harrison, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open. The pair of match points came at 15-40 in the 10th game of the third set.

“I worked really hard in the past three-and-a-half months to get in physical shape, to go from golf to tennis shape,” Fish said.

“It was nice to play Ryan, sort of a good friend. Someone you’re familiar with. So that part was nice to not have to play someone you don’t really know.

“It’s hard. It’s never easy. It still stings a little bit,” Fish said of the loss.

“I would have liked to play a little better, “he noted. “I would have like to have won – it is what it is.”

“Being on the court for so long. It felt great to be out there. Those are situations you work hard to put yourself into.”

“It’s such a great event,” he said. “I’ve got great memories from 2008 here.

“It felt fantastic to be out there.”

Asked about how he’s had to control his ailment he said: “I learn from every situation, every episode, every sort of scenario that I put myself in in the last couple of years, and I learn from this today.

“I didn’t really have many expectations, as far as how long I could play tournament-wise. How many tournaments I could play – Indian Wells and Miami was kind of in the background.

“This is a new different challenge for me.”

Fish said that he has to come on to the court and “be sort of even keel.”

“Something that I have to work on with my sports Psychologist – what sort of frame of mind do you need out there, (be)cause this is unchartered territory for me in the past couple of years.”

“Golf was such a savior for me because I able to jump into something that I really liked to do, that I was good at, and I could see myself getting better and I really enjoy playing in the tournaments, improving, things like that.” Golf was a coping mechanism for him – “to take my mind off the tennis, what other guys were doing.”

To prepare for his comeback, the American said that he played five or six days a week for the past 20 weeks – “it felt pretty close to tennis.”

Doesn’t have interest in going to the “minor leagues and working my way back up.”

Fish said that he has 3 tournaments where he can use a protected ranking. “It will run out at the US Open. Will have some decisions to make.”

The win for Harrison moves him into the second round where he’ll face No. 5 in the world Kei Nishikori.

 

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Indian Wells Tennis Garden Celebrates Topping Out Stadium 2

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner's Representative.

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner’s Representative.

Indian Wells, Calif., August 6, 2013 – The final structural beam was placed atop the new Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) on Tuesday in a “topping out” celebration presented by Watkins Landmark Construction. The new stadium is on schedule to be completed in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open to be held March 3-16, 2014.

Construction workers, IWTG Staff, members of the design and engineering teams, Watkins Landmark Employees and other dignitaries in attendance signed the 15-foot beam to recognize the hard work and dedication of everyone involved to help this new structure come to fruition. The beam was then hoisted to its final resting place on the top of an elevator shaft on the northeast corner of the stadium. On hand to speak at the ceremony were Raymond Moore, CEO of the BNP Paribas Open and IWTG; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO of Watkins Landmark Construction; and Mary Roche, Mayor of the City of Indian Wells.

“This BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden ‘Topping Out’ ceremony is a celebration of the hard work that has been put into getting the structure where it is today,” said Moore. “However, this ceremony is also a landmark in the construction process, signifying that the home stretch is quickly approaching. The new Stadium 2 will be an outstanding facility for our fans come next March, when the tennis stars and fans from around the world descend upon Indian Wells.”

The new Stadium 2 officially broke ground in March during the 2013 BNP Paribas Open, which is currently home to the second-largest tennis stadium in the world. The facility will feature 8,000 seats and space for three restaurants.

This is part of an overall site expansion that also includes a marquee site entrance on Washington Street with a new box office, a new 19,000 square foot shade structure identical to the one built in 2012, four additional practice courts, expansion of the current Miles Street entrance, an upgraded accessible parking area on the north side, an additional grass parking space for up to 2,000 cars and expansion and relocation of the TV Production compound.

“We are so honored to be such a big part of this site expansion,” said Watkins. “This new Stadium 2 is going to add to the already-impressive Indian Wells Tennis Garden and be yet another jewel in the desert.”

Construction of the site expansion is set to finish in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open.

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the 2013 BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

"Austin Powers" and Caroline Wozniacki

“Austin Powers” and Caroline Wozniacki

(March 7, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – The BNP Paribas Open held their players’ party at the IW club on Thursday night. The tennis players drove up to the “Green Carpet” in classic cars included  Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Redfoo, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sam Stosur, James Blake, David Ferrer,  and a host of others including Austin Powers.

Photos by Curt Janka and Maria Noble. Follow Tennis Panorama News’ BNP Paribas Open coverage here and on our twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

[nggallery id=78]

 

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Tips to Enjoying the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells

By Erik Gudris

(March 7, 2011) The BNP Paribas Open, or as it’s more informally known due to its geographic location as just “Indian Wells,” is definitely a “destination” event in that one attends really to focus on watching world-class tennis and not much else. Not that fine dining, shopping and tourist attractions aren’t nearby, but if you’re looking for a big city vibe, then IW is not for you. But having said all of that, here are some tips for those looking to attend the event that’s been called the “tennis jewel of the desert” for their first time or to maximize their experience from last year.

Do You Really Need a Car?

Some people have asked me if it’s possible to attend IW without access to a car. It’s doable but will take some planning on your part. One can access the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where the tournament takes place, by a Sunline Transit Bus, either on Line 111 coming from Palm Springs or Cathedral City that will take you to Miles Avenue just behind the stadium or from Indian Wells or La Quinta on Line 70 that will take you up to Washington Avenue. Just be sure to double check all schedules and routes and allow plenty of time.

If traveling by car, you can park near the stadium or the site itself as parking elsewhere and walking is not really an option. Stadium or  “A” lot parking is $25 per day while general parking outside the grounds in the G lot is $10 a day or $90 for the entire event. The “G” lot is only a short walk to the main entrance so it’s by far the better deal especially if you are attending on multiple days. Just note that the “G” lot can fill up early, so if you arrive later in the day or in the evening, you may be directed to the overflow or V lot farther away. Those parking in the V lot can ride a shuttle bus to and from the stadium.

Cars are lined up in the “G” lot on a first in basis, so there’s really no way to secure a spot next to the exit. When you park, be sure to write down the closest letter/number designation for your area, especially if you plan on coming back later at night. I usually take a photo with my cell phone so I know the letter/number and the cars parked next to mine. And if want you to leave on time after the final day or night match of the session, leave early as waiting until match point could have you sitting in your car for up to an hour trying to get out.

What to Eat and What to Wear.

IW provides plenty of food and beverage options but I always try and pack a lunch and snacks for the day along with bringing two large bottles of water. Carrying big water bottles might wear you down but you’ll be amazed how fast you guzzle them dry especially on a hot day. Just remember to adhere to all event guidelines for bringing bags inside. If you prefer buying food onsite, just remember the prices are a tad high, but not nearly U.S. Open-like prices. Be sure to try the barbecue though as I remember that was quite tasty last year.

As far as clothing goes, wear layers, especially if you plan on attending a night session. The high desert area of California can turn chilly and windy rather quick in early March and temps can drop as low as 40 degrees F at night. And even if a day session has you showing off your well-toned tennis legs in shorts, remember that many of the IW courts have steel bleachers that reflect sunlight and can cause a decent sunburn. Wearing and applying sunblock throughout the day is a must.

What To Do Between Matches.

Many fans love that the practice courts at IW are right in front of the main stadium and this year the event announced they will be posting player’s practice times so you can know in advance when your favorites will be taking the courts. As always, get there early as it’s standing room only and the crowd of onlookers can get five deep rather quick.

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden has plenty of places to sit outside where you can watch the stadium match on several jumbo tennis monitors while walking to the shopping pavilions or while having a bite on the dining concourse which is my favorite as it allows you to keep up with the matches while doing some people watching as well. Also remember that throughout each day, special events are held including tennis chats and interviews, sometimes hosted by famed tennis writer Bud Collins, fashion shows, prize giveaways and of course player autographs sessions. Just be sure to check the website or daily program for times and locations.

Indian Wells attracts the very best players in the world while at the same time maintaining a very relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel like you are at a smaller event. Here’s hoping you have a great time in the desert!

For more information, visit the event’s website — http://www.bnpparibasopen.com The tournament will take place from March 7- 20.

 

Erik Gudris writes and moderates Adjustingthenet.com, a popular tennis news and commentary website. He will be covering the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, CA for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on Twitter @adjustingthenet

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