Top Players Cut the Ribbon on Stadium Court at the Miami Open presented by Itaú
By Tucker Verdi
Stadium Court — the crowd jewel of the Miami Open presented by Itaú’s new tennis campus at Hard Rock Stadium, is now open for business.
A quartet of Grand Slam champions and World No. 1’s were on hand for the ceremony marking the beginning of match play on the 14,000-seat court. Former World No. 1’s Roger Federer and Serena Williams were joined by the current top-ranked player on each tour, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.
Williams, Djokovic, and Federer have won Miami Open singles titles a combined 17 times, and — though Osaka has never claimed the Butch Buchholz trophy, she is seeded this year for the first time in Miami as the top seed.
Also present at the ceremony were tournament director James Blake; Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross; Endeavor president Mark Shapiro; vice chair, president, and CEO of Hard Rock Stadium Tom Garfinkel; and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel.
Butch Buchholz, the founder of the Miami Open, stood courtside during the player introductions and joined the group to hold the ribbon for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Buchholz — inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005, started the world-class event in 1985.
The group shared their excitement about the future of the Miami Open, and the difficult process to get the tournament at Hard Rock Stadium. The idea of bringing the Miami Open to Hard Rock Stadium began with Ross, but he was quick to point out that it would not have come together without Shapiro’s facilitation and Garfinkel’s execution.
“Ideas are great,” Ross quipped, “but it was the execution [that made the move to Hard Rock Stadium possible].”
Williams, a part-owner of the Dolphins, is based out of Palm Beach County and considers the Miami Open her home tournament. Osaka has also spent a great deal of time in South Florida, and both shared their enthusiasm for the Miami Open being able to stay in the region. Federer expressed excitement about being able to be a part of an “important moment in tennis history.”
Don’t miss out on any of the action on the Miami Open presented by Itaú’s new Stadium Court. Get your tickets here today!