By Mario Sarmento
The Sony Open is about tennis, but there’s also so much more. So, for those of you who are new to the event, or who want to try some of the many new experiences at this year’s tournament, here is a list of what’s new at the 2014 Sony Open:
- If you’re looking for great food, the Collectors Club is the place to be from Wednesday, March 19 to Sunday, March 30, as Great Performances, the official caterer of the Sony Open, is collaborating with three special guest chefs from South Florida to present their unique and flavorful additions to the Collectors Club menu. Club members will enjoy the creations of Peter Vauthy of Red, The Steakhouse March 19-21; Michy’s Michelle Bernstein March 22-24; and Cindy Hutson from Ortanique March 25-28. Each chef will work with Executive Chef Tim Sullivan and Restaurant Chef Brent Simms. Also, Oysters XO will be the feature attraction during the finals, March 29, 30.
- Need something to wash all that food down with? Then you can head over to the Michelob ULTRA Beer Garden Thursday, March 20 from 5-7 p.m. and join the fun on Michelob ULTRA Night. Fans can receive ULTRA giveaways while drinking the official beer of the Sony Open. If that’s not enough excitement, an ATP player will also attend and interact with fans.
- And if you’re still thirsty, the Bombay Sapphire Mixology Session is Monday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bombay Sapphire Lounge. There, you can join the Bombay Sapphire Mixologist as he shows ATP players how to make the official cocktail of the Sony Open.
- If music is your thing, be sure to stop by the Entertainment Stage Friday, March 21 at 6 p.m. for FILA Friday Night. DJ Clinton Sparks will be spinning the turntables with help from an ATP athlete. Fans can listen to tunes while dining in the food court as they await the start of the evening session. The event ends around 8:15 p.m.
- Interactive fun seekers may want to visit the padelHub Interactive Zone near the Grandstand, where guests can play the growing Spanish sport. Daily schedules include games and challenges, individual lessons, and exhibition matches with top professional Padel players.
- The new tournament Champagne sponsor is Moet & Chandon. Fans can enjoy drinks and fresh shucked oysters when they visit the Moet & Chandon Champagne & Sushi Lounge.
- For tech savvy fans, the Sony Open and SAP have launched a new tournament app for smartphones and tablets, an improved virtual replay feature and exclusive tournament videos. Download it here!
- If cars are more your style, The Collection has a special treat for a lucky fan. Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m., and Thursday, March 27 at 1 p.m. on Stadium Court, one guest at each session will have a chance to win a luxurious car to cruise around in for the weekend. The drawing takes place during one of the featured matches on Stadium Court.
- MasterCard holders will also be rewarded, as they will be able to enter the Sony Open 30 minutes prior to the regularly scheduled time for both day and night sessions when they show their tickets and a MasterCard at the MasterCard Early Access Entrance. MasterCard is also giving lucky fans an opportunity to win a trip for two to Roland Garros in Paris. For every $100 spent by cardholders on the Sony Open site, a fan will receive one chance to participate and try to win this incredible trip of a lifetime.
- But that’s not all, as LAN Airlines is giving fans the chance to win prizes if they can catch paper slips in a wind tunnel.
- If the stress of the matches is too intense, fans can always relax between matches by getting a professional massage at Thailand, which is offering free medical massages to guests who visit their booth.
- Want to see if your serve measures up to the pros? Come on down to the Rado booth and put your serve to the test. Rado has a serve cage in which fans can test their speed and try to win souvenirs and merchandise.
- For a taste of Ecuador explore the best the country has to offer at the Pro Ecuador booth in the main plaza. Learn more about this exotic destination as you can purchase anything from authentic Ecuadorian chocolate to floral displays.
- And finally, don’t miss your chance to get an official hat of the Sony Open. Sony will be giving away the hats during the finals at Gate C, so don’t miss a chance to claim yours.