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BNP Paribas Open Enhances Fan Experience

 

Celebrating its 40th year, the BNP Paribas Open, going on now in Indian Wells, California, isn’t resting on its laurels. This year’s tournament features a number of new offerings—not to mention the return of tennis star Serena Williams following a 14-year absence.

The event was first held in the Coachella Valley in 1976 at the Mission Hills Country Club before moving to larger stadium facilities at two local resorts: La Quinta and Grand Champions (now the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa). In 2000, it moved into its current home, the specially built Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Last year, the site underwent an extensive renovation and expansion project, which reportedly cost $70 million and included a new stadium 2, seating 8,000 people and featuring three fine-dining restaurants (Nobu, Chop House and Piero’s PizzaVino), and a new entrance lined with almost 700 trees.

This year, the tournament’s additions are not quite as dramatic but are all intended to enhance the fan experience: They include new video screens inside Stadium 1, on the Stadium 2 restaurant patio areas and near all the practice courts; additional seating (for a total of 45,110 seats available at each session); and—much appreciated in the desert climate—new hydration stations, awnings and mobile misting trailers on the central lawn areas. New sponsorships this year include Audi, Masimo, Moet & Chandon, Lavazza, RumChata and Barracuda.

With the tournament currently on track to beat attendance records for the ninth year in a row, the continued investment in the product seems to be paying off. Even so, organizers are already looking ahead, with discussions and planning underway for a new stadium 3.

This year’s BNP Paribas Open featured the return of tennis star Serena Williams (left) following a 14-year absence.
This year’s BNP Paribas Open featured the return of tennis star Serena Williams (left) following a 14-year absence.
Audi was one of six new sponsors at this year’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Audi was one of six new sponsors at this year’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Among the enhancements for fans was a series of new hydration stations outside Stadium 2.
Among the enhancements for fans was a series of new hydration stations outside Stadium 2.