Municipal Facility of the Year: Indian Wells Tennis Garden
For two weeks in March, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., draws the world’s best players to the BNP Paribas Open, the largest combined WTA and ATP World Tour event in the world.
In 2013, a major renovation and expansion further enhanced its reputation. The $70 million project included an 8,000-seat stadium with three restaurants, redesigned practice area and other enhancements.
However, the reason for its selection as Tennis Industry’s Municipal Facility of the Year is the myriad of activities available the rest of the year. Featuring 29 hard courts, the full-service tennis club offers 10 and Under Tennis, private and group lessons, leagues, mixers, clinics and camps for juniors and adults, and more. It also hosts tournaments, concerts and a variety of special events.
Tournament director and COO Steve Simon says the goal is to grow the game at the grassroots level, while seeking new ways to enhance the tournament experience for players, fans, sponsors, media, staff and volunteers.
“If you’re doing the same things that you were doing two years ago,” he says, “you’re going backwards.”
— Cindy Cantrell
Tips for success
- Continually improve: Remain vigilant to changing consumer demands, or risk falling behind.
- If you don’t know, ask. When he was appointed tournament director in 1989, Indian Wells Tennis Garden COO Steve Simon reached out to others in his role for guidance. “As I learned more,” he recalls, “I enjoyed the job more.”
- Think big picture. Few facilities have the financial resources for a major capital campaign. However, it’s a good investment for all to put themselves in the place of key influencers in order to create an enhanced experience within their respective budgets.
See all articles by Cynthia Cantrell
About the Author
Cynthia Cantrell is a contributing editor of Tennis Industry magazine.
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