Invest: Miami speaks to Adam Barrett, Director and IMG Executive Vice President
Each March, South Florida hosts the Miami Open in Crandon Park. Formerly the Sony Ericsson Open, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) named the 31-year-old competition “Tournament of the Year” nine out of the last 13 years.
The 2015 tournament featured stars Novak Djokavic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Venus and Serena Williams. Over 300,000 people at- tend, and ticket prices rose 20 percent from 2014. Visitors enjoyed a beach volleyball tournament, a fashion show and “The Taste of the Open,” serving dishes from the world’s leading chefs. “The Miami Open emphasizes a range of high-quality food experience,” says Miami Open Director and IMG Executive Vice President Adam Barrett. “Whether you are getting a pretzel from a cart or enjoying a meal from one of three sit-down restaurants— of different styles and different levels—or having a drink from a champagne bar or a beer cart, there is something for everybody.” The 2016 tournament will continue its success from March 21 to April 3 with a “Kids’ Day” and a Duran Duran concert.
Lasting two weeks, the tournament generates over $380 million in economic impact, including 14,000 hotel rooms booked—equivalent to hosting the Super Bowl in Miami. Miami receives global exposure through 7,000 television hours broadcast to over 190 countries.
The tournament’s future may be in jeopardy as it lost an early 2016 court dispute regarding a $50-million expansion of Crandon Park. Though International Players’ Championship Inc. has an eight-year contract with the county, the tournament insists the agreement is invalid as it was contingent on upgraded facilities. Resolving the dispute depends on whether the National Parks Conservation Association approves the expansion. If unresolved, the tournament has proposed Orlando, Beijing and Dubai as alternate locations.