The Miami Open is often referred to as the fifth major in tennis (an accolade sprouting from the fact that both men’s and women’s tennis’ professional tours visit the same venue at the same time that isn’t a major championship). The quality of the competition is top notch as well. With the likes of Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, and Novak Djokovic taking to the courts throughout the weekend, fans will have plenty of action to see among the biggest stars of professional tennis.
Add to this the setting of being on Key Biscayne surrounded by the blue waters of Biscayne Bay, and you have one of the most picturesque locations in professional sports. However, playing in paradise also comes with its downsides (can we say worst traffic ever?).
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Food at the Miami Open is plentiful and great in variety. There is everything available from Latin food to traditional sports fare, all the way to high-quality champagne with fresh sushi. Prices are not that extravagant either, as you get what you pay for in this situation. The eating locations are in the midways of the property, with tennis action surrounding you and large TV screens set up with the biggest matches and the latest scores scrolling so you don't miss any action. The best part? They're all located under the shade of beautiful trees to shade you from the South Florida heat.
The atmosphere at the Miami Open is good when it comes to tennis, but for the uninitiated, it may be a bit of a letdown. Tennis is like golf's younger more rambunctious brother. There is still the required quiet from the fans in attendance when balls are served during play, but during long rallies between players, the crowd can get into it. And make no mistake, when a point is won, the fans can roar along with the best in sports.
Additionally, the location sets an air of high class to the event. Situated on Key Biscayne, driving there takes you through downtown Miami's Brickell neighborhood, a high income location that is pristine and beautiful.
Once you get to the stadium, the view from the top of the stadium provides grand views of the surrounding blue waters of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. A warm sun and a cool ocean breeze greets you as you sit and watch Tennis' best.
Key Biscayne is the top notch, high class location that anyone would love to live in when they win the lottery. Immediately surrounding the stadium is nothing but nature preserve and parking lots, but the island of Key Biscayne itself is what one would expect high-quality living in Miami to be. High rises on the beach. Private homes on the water. Top quality restaurants are right around the corner. What is missing however? Hotels. To stay in Miami, you will have to drive each day across the bridge. Hotels are on the mainland, and affordable ones even farther inland.
There is one excellent place within close proximity of the tournament grounds which is worth a visit. The Rusty Pelican is a very upscale restaurant just off the Causeway, which overlooks downtown Miami. It is not uncommon to see large boats, speedboats, and even boat planes go by as you relax and enjoy the beautiful Miami skyline. I recommend attending a day session at the tournament and stopping here on your way back to your hotel to enjoy a cocktail in the evening as the sun sets.
Additionally, there are some great nearby attractions for a day off from tennis. You will pass the Miami Seaquarium on the Causeway as you approach the tournament. It is open from 9:30am to 6pm daily. The Miami Children's Museum is nearby as well in case you have young children with you.
Although there isn't a plentiful selection of nearby places to stop for a pre or post match drink and bite to eat, you are after all in Miami, where there are virtually unlimited wonderful places to do so. Everything in the city is only a short taxi ride away (which I would suggest over driving yourself).
Talk about kind and considerate! Tennis fans are much like golf fans...most of them know the way you're supposed to act around the sport and during matches, and those who don't can easily follow along and blend in. The fans at the Miami Open are a mix of highly sport-knowledgeable and the casual local. Asking for directions or for assistance identifying players is greeted with a smile and a kind reply. The fans cheer when the players make great plays on the court, and rarely is a sour word heard. Simply put, it all makes for a great, family friendly sports environment.
This is where the Miami Open meets its downfall. Getting to Key Biscayne on a normal day is a bit of a pain. It is an island, which means crossing the causeway, which also means having to pay a toll to get there. Add tens of thousands of fans converging on the arena at the same time, and you have the worst traffic nightmare scenario you could imagine. Two lanes are all that is available both coming and going from Crandon Park, and it makes getting to the tournament very frustrating if you don't leave and arrive several hours before the start of the event. Parking at the event is plentiful, and is just a walk across the street. But the traffic to get there is what makes the Miami Open such a miserable experience to get to.
The Miami Open is still a wonderful tournament. The quality of play mixes with a family friendly atmosphere to create a brilliant location for watching tennis. The views from the stadium are second to none. The opportunity to see the closest thing to a major without paying the price for a major is also hard to pass up. Just be prepared to arrive several hours before the tournament starts in order to not drive yourself mad.
The 2015 tournament sported several additional events for the fans to see, providing a great sports atmosphere. The stars of the AVP Tour played sand volleyball in a court set up outside of the main stadium. Kerri Walsh Jennings (three-time Olympic gold medalist) played alongside fellow Olympian April Ross and other stars of volleyball, making for a great secondary event.
The access fans also have to the players is great, making getting autographs a breeze. Additionally, there are several autograph sessions set up throughout the tournament.
Another neat event held at the 2015 tournament was a fashion show. Several models showed off the latest in high-fashion swimwear on the catwalk.
When you see a bunch of celebrities in the stands, you know the tournament is one worth attending. The fans make for a pleasant experience and the quality of the competition is as high as any others out there. With that said, getting to the tournament is an absolute nightmare, as traffic is at its ultimate worst. As long as you arrive early, the Miami Open is a great tournament for tennis in one of the best settings in the country.
The title truly says it all. Once you leave the park the craving to go back instantly hits you. This place is really addictive. From the palm trees to the beautiful views of the ocean and city to the big time tennis on court, it sure makes one feel like you never want to leave. Oh and did I mention the palm trees?
The Sony Open is the annual men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament held on the gorgeous Key Biscayne, just across the causeway from downtown Miami, Florida. This is a vital stop on the calendar for both the men and women as it is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 event. There are only a handful of tournaments that have this status and only two others in the United States including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, OH. It is rare that the ATP and WTA calendars converge and play during the same time. Only these events along with the four prestigious Grand Slams are formatted this way, including the US Open, in New York City, NY.
The Sony Open is held at The Tennis Center at Crandon Park, which is a city owned facility and is home to 18 Laykold Cushion Plus courts (hard courts), and 4 red clay courts. The tournament is only played on the hard courts, 10 of which are used for match play and the remaining 8 for practice usage. The seating capacities of the match play courts are as follows: Stadium Court (the main stadium at the facility) seats 13,800, making it the third largest tennis specific stadium in the U.S. (behind Arthur Ashe Stadium, 22,547, at the US Open, and Stadium Court, 16,100, in Indian Wells), grandstand court-5,100, court one-2,450, court two-1,750, court three-550, courts four, five, and six-200, and courts seven, and eight-275. The only permanent stadium among these ten courts is Stadium Court. It’s not uncommon that tournaments this size utilize custom temporary seating stands similar to what is found at golf tournaments, since the tournament grounds are usually only used to host crowds of this size for two weeks out of the year.
The Sony Open is the annual men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament held on the gorgeous Key Biscayne, just across the causeway from downtown Miami, Florida. This is a vital stop on the calendar for both the men and women as it is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 event. There are only a handful of tournaments that have this status and only two others in the United States including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is rare that the ATP and WTA calendars converge and play during the same time. The Grand Slams are the only other exception, which include: The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and The US Open.
The Sony Open is held at The Tennis Center at Crandon Park, which is a city-owned facility. It is home to 18 Laykold Cushion Plus courts (hard courts), and four red clay courts. The tournament is only played on the hard courts, 10 of which are used for match play and the remaining eight for practice usage.
The seating capacities vary for the match play courts. Stadium Court (the main stadium at the facility) seats 13,800, making it the third largest tennis-specific stadium in the U.S. (behind Arthur Ashe Stadium, 22,547, at the US Open, and Stadium Court, 16,100, in Indian Wells). The grandstand court has a capacity of 5,100, court one (2,450), court two (1,750), and court three (550). Courts four, five, and six have a capacity of 200, while courts seven and eight seat 275. This makes for a total capacity of 24,800.
The only permanent stadium among these ten courts is Stadium Court. It’s not uncommon that tournaments this size utilize custom temporary seating stands similar to what is found at golf tournaments, since the tournament grounds are usually only used to host crowds of this size for two weeks out of the year.
3201 Rickenbacker Causeway
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!