MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – As the Miami Open begins its final year in Key Biscayne, tennis star Serena Williams said she's leaving behind many great memories, but hopes to create all new ones as the tournament moves to Hard Rock Stadium.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday at the Miami Gardens stadium that is home to the Miami Dolphins. Team owner Stephen Ross and Williams, who also has a stake in the Dolphins, were in attendance.
It was announced in December that the Miami Open is moving to Miami Gardens in 2019 after 32 years at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
Ross and Williams said they wanted the Miami Open to remain in South Florida, as it has since 1987, which is why Ross worked with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and IMG executives to bring the tournament to Hard Rock Stadium.
"I feel like Key Biscayne had some wonderful memories, especially for me, had some great times and great memories there and, you know, so many iconic moments (have) happened there," Williams said. "And now I feel like it's time to start new memories and new moments, and I feel it's going to be just as great."
Before relocating to Key Biscayne in 1987, the first tournament was held two years earlier in Delray Beach. It moved to Boca West the next year before leaving Palm Beach County for Key Biscayne.
Construction for the outer tennis courts -- about 30 in all -- is underway. The main tennis court will be inside the stadium, which will be converted before next March.