MIAMI – After three decades, the Miami Open is set to trade in its picturesque setting on Key Biscayne for the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium.
Tournament organizers have agreed to a deal with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez that will move one of the most popular stops on the world tennis tour from the spot it has occupied since 1987.
The plan is for the tournament to be played one final time at the facility at Crandon Park in 2018 before moving.
The move comes after numerous failed attempts to expand the current facilities on Key Biscayne. Organizers say expansion is vital for the tournament to remain profitable. The Matheson family has long opposed the expansion plans, filing lawsuits to keep the tournament in its current footprint.
While Gimenez supports the move, the transition to the stadium now needs to be approved by county commissioners.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pledged to pour millions into a facility in the Hard Rock Stadium parking lot. The Herald reports the actual finals of the tournament will be played inside the stadium.
In a tweet posted Wednesday morning, Gimenez spokesperson Mike Hernandez thanked Ross and Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel for their work in helping to keep the tournament in Miami-Dade County.