BNP Paribas Open: Bigger, Better, Best


BNP Paribas Open: Bigger, Better, Best

Indian Wells Tennis Garden’s expansion promises continued excellence for the 400,000-plus fans expected to attend the prestigious tournament.

The Hard Rock Hotel, Humana Challenge, and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival helped fuel Coachella Valley’s meteoric rise into international renown, but it may be Indian Wells Tennis Garden’s latest expansion, including an 8,000-seat stadium, that rockets the area into the resort-destination stratosphere.

Like a concrete-and-steel butterfly emerging from an inspired cocoon, Stadium 2 rose from the desert in less than a year’s time, cementing the BNP Paribas Open — the fifth largest tournament in the world after the celebrated Grand Slams (U.S. Open, French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon) — as an undisputed monarch among professional tennis events.

“It definitely furthers our goal of becoming as big and successful as we possibly can, but doing it the right way,” says Steve Simon, BNP Paribas Open tournament director, during a January interview in his onsite office. Outside, workers and staff buzz about the grounds in preparation for the annual event, which kicks off March 1 with the McEnroe Challenge for Charity — an exhibition match presented by Esurance pitting against one another tennis legends John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Peter Fleming, and Rick Leach.

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