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Design & Development

Transformation plan revealed for home of Cincinnati Open

Images: Cincinnati Open

Beemok Sports & Entertainment, owner and operator of leading tennis tournament the Cincinnati Open, has unveiled the latest phase in what will be a major revamp of Lindner Family Tennis Center, plans it states will usher in a “new era” for the event.

The campus-wide renovation detailed today (Monday) plans to improve fan and player experiences prior to the expanded 2025 Cincinnati Open. The entire campus will be reimagined, with modern stadium facades and extensive landscaping to create a park-like feel throughout the venue. New fan amenities, courts and player facilities will also be added to increase capacity for the tournament’s expansion.

The work represents the next stage of the $260m (£204.6m/€239.2m) investment in upgrades that tournament owner Beemok Capital committed to in announcing the intention back in October to keep the Cincinnati Open in its current home for the next 25 years.

The annual ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments are amongst the largest on the tennis calendar outside of the four grand slams.

The Lindner Family Tennis Center has staged the event – one of just nine on the circuit that feature both men’s and women’s competitions – since it was built in 1979. However, its long-term future came under threat last year after US businessman Ben Navarro proposed plans for a new $400m tennis campus in Charlotte, North Carolina amid a possible relocation of the Open.

“We are ushering in a new era at the Cincinnati Open, and the complete transformation of our campus will create an unparalleled experience for our fans and players,” Bob Moran, president of Beemok Sports & Entertainment, said today.

“Our goal is to provide a best-in-class experience to everyone who touches the Cincinnati Open, and these projects, which are made possible through partnerships with the City of Mason, Warren County and the State of Ohio, are the foundation upon which we will build the next chapters of this storied event’s history.” 

A continuous facade will wrap both Center Court and Grandstand Court in the heart of the new-look campus. To the north, a permanent fan plaza shaded by an expansive canopy will provide a gathering spot for spectators with additional landscaping to create more greenspace and modular opportunities for sponsor activations. To the south, a brand new, 2,000-seat sunken stadium will be added to the campus, making it the fourth largest of the venue’s five permanent stadiums.

The additional stadium is one of 10 new courts being added to the site to help facilitate the event’s growth to feature 96-player ATP and WTA singles fields over more days in 2025. In total, the campus will feature 31 courts, up from the planned 21 for 2024.

A new, 56,000 square-foot, two-story player centre will be among the most significant additions to the site. The world-class facility will include lounge and restaurant space for the tournament’s players and their support teams, wellness and recovery rooms for the players and locker rooms for coaches.

Existing player facilities on the three lowest floors of the Paul Flory Player Center will be renovated to provide additional locker room space and an expanded, state-of-the-art fitness centre. Other work planned for the campus includes a new, six court indoor facility and the creation of six pickleball and two padel courts on the grounds.

The majority of the work to expand the campus will be to the south and west of the venue’s current footprint. Additional parking will be added to the north of the campus and multiple new access points to the parking areas will be created in the coming years.

Beemok said expanding the venue has been made possible with the cooperation and support of the City of Mason, Warren County and the State of Ohio. Warren County Commissioner, Dave Young, said: “Preserving this international asset was a huge win for Warren County and its partners, the State of Ohio and the City of Mason.

“I am thrilled that we are moving from proposing a plan that would retain the tournament to executing that plan in real time, and I cannot wait to see the final result. I am so glad to see the Cincinnati Open stay right here for at least the next 25 years.

“Tourism is Warren County’s number one industry, accounting for $1.45bn in economic impact annually. We are looking forward to the tournament’s full expansion in 2025, which is projected to generate more than $150m in direct and indirect economic output into the region.”

The 2025 site improvement planning is being led by Gensler, while the construction will be overseen by Barton Malow. “The campus transformation will include comprehensive upgrades and improvements making an enormous impact for many generations to come,” said Kristin Byrd, design director and architect at Gensler.

“When complete, the grounds will feature an increase in green space and trees. This will be paired with an updated campus aesthetic showcasing clean lines, simple, elegant forms and a fresh, neutral colour palette that will beautifully complement the park-like setting.

“Our design team focused on creating an authentic sense of place by incorporating regional building materials, engaging with local artisans and honouring the tournament’s history through layering of art and historical iconography — all with a modern twist.”

The 2025 Cincinnati Open Campus Transformation projects are in addition to the work previously announced in December that is currently underway to upgrade the seating experience within Center Court and Grandstand Court, add four practice courts, renovate the Crosscourt Suites and Top Deck lounge areas, and add a new hospitality suite overlooking Grandstand Court.