By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
What you need to know about the Miami Open.
The Miami Open is a world-class tennis competition like no other, touting the best men’s and women’s players, battling for the title on Miami’s picturesque Key Biscayne.
Miami is the ultimate host when it comes to serving up world-class tennis. For two weeks each spring, the globe’s top-ranked tennis pros and a long list of A-list celebrities, descend upon Miami’s tranquil island of Key Biscayne for the Miami Open.
Fans are treated to riveting matches played at The Tennis Center at Crandon Park, which is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. It’s one of the most beautiful spots for tennis, and it’s no wonder why players rate it as one of their favorite places to play. The energy each year is palpable and it’s become one of the top tickets in town during the spring.
"This tournament helps to highlight a multitude of aspects that Miami has to offer from hotel offerings, to the chefs that are brought in for pop-ups during the tournament to the numerous events that take place throughout the city before and during the tournament," says Lauren Gnazzo, a Miami local who’s attended the matches for the last five years. "There is a sense of pride that all people living in Miami have, and when thousands of people fly into our city to join in on that excitement."
On the Court
The Miami Open is the largest tennis event in the world outside of the Grand Slams, with 96 men and 96 women in the singles competition, and 32 men’s and 32 women’s doubles teams.
Since 1987, crowds have come out in droves to watch high-profile matchesfeaturing Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
Off the Court
The Miami Open is always one of the most coveted tickets in town for locals and tourists alike, with more than 300,000 people packing Crandon Park over the course of 14 days. The event boasts a "who’s who" of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars, so be sure to have a camera handy.
Of course, spectators are there for the tennis, but food, fashion and entertainment have also become a large part of the sports scene. There are tennis shops and a beach on the west side of the stadium with interactive activities for fans.
"The format is exciting for all ages - from the actual matches and player signings, to shopping in the LACOSTE boutique and the array of culinary options," explains Gnazzo.
When it comes to dining, there is a culinary lineup for all tastes and budgets. There is a main food court pavilion, which offers burgers, salads and sushi, and several gourmet food trucks are also stationed along the beach area. At the Collector’s Club, a members-only restaurant, guests are treated to a high-end dining experience.
Tickets and Tips
Tickets for the Miami Open typically go on sale in late summer. There are also vacation packages for visitors, but keep in mind, about 15,000 hotel rooms are booked each year, and packages sell out fast. The tournament is so popular, with guests from more than 70 countries attending, that the economic impact is estimated at $386 million each year (more than the Super Bowl!).
Unless you can score suite-level seats situated under an awning, stadium seating is open-air and does not offer much protection from the sun. You’ll want to dress cool and comfortably, wear a hat, and bring sunscreen. There are WiFi and charging stations around the stadium.
General parking is located across from the Miami Seaquarium, and then guests will need to take a free shuttle to the front gate. Traffic can be congested on the RickenbackerrCauseway, which connects the mainland of Miami to Key Biscayne, so give yourself ample time to get there.
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