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Industry News

Miami Open seals Hard Rock Stadium deal

A deal to relocate the Miami Open tennis tournament to Hard Rock Stadium, home of NFL American football team the Miami Dolphins, has been approved after doubts had emerged over the future of the event.

Last month, news broke that an agreement had been reached to move the event, a leading tournament on the men’s ATP World Tour and the women’s WTA Tour, to the 66,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium.

Earlier this month, the plans to relocate the event were placed in doubt after an audit detailing how much money the tournament owes Miami-Dade County was revealed. At the time, it was reported that the development could lead to the event leaving South Florida.

However, a deal has now been signed to ensure the event remains in Miami in 2019. The Miami Herald newspaper reports that county commissioners have backed a deal between Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the IMG agency to move the event following next year’s tournament at Crandon Park. IMG owns the event.

According to the Herald, the Miami Open will now potentially pay up to $1.8m (£1.3m/€1.5m) to the county for expenses from past tournaments at Crandon Park. The initial deal had called for IMG to pay $1.3m.

Restrictions surrounding the development of Crandon Park have prompted organisers to seek a new home for the event to ensure its status on tour. The Miami Open is considered one of the leading non-grand slam tournaments in tennis.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has plans to build temporary facilities in the car park at Hard Rock Stadium to facilitate the stadium hosting the event. Showcase matches will be held inside the stadium itself.

Image: Christophe95