The two-plus weeks of tennis has started in the desert, as the 2014 BNP Paribas Open will draw the attention of the tennis world along with the best players in the world to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for great tennis and good times.
The tournament runs March 3-16.
Once again there are improvements to talk about and on a recent tour of the facility, I was able to see them up close.
A brand new stadium that will seat 8,000 fans and house three restaurants will be unveiled this year. It will get a trial run on Saturday night for the McEnroe Challenge, which is already sold out. The new Stadium 2 will allow more people to come through the gates and a new attendance record will be set in 2014.
It's almost like being at courtside. I'm talking about the 60-foot video screens that are on the big wall outside the main stadium. These screen always gather a big crowd and it's kind of fun to watch matches on these impressive screens.
While on the grounds of the Tennis Garden, I was granted exclusive access to the luxury suites that are located in the main stadium. Many of these suites have undergone a makeover for this year, and those lucky enough to hold tickets to these suites and going to be blown away by the comfort and amenities these suites are going to offer to tennis fans.
Improved Wi-Fi has been the rule at many sports venues across the country and BNP Paribas Open tournament director Steve Simon promises Wi-Fi where 25,000 fans can stream video simultaneously. He compared it to the Wi-Fi at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Not sure if this is a great comparison, as I'm someone who has tried this Wi-Fi on and off for years at the world's busiest airport, but I get the point he is trying to make.
Do you have problems with your smartphone's battery running low when away at a tennis tournament for the entire day? No need to worry, the BNP Paribas Open also has added complementary charging stations and will also provide remote chargers that fans can rent and take to their seat.
The BNP Paribas Open mobile app is available in the iTunes and Android stores. Fans can watch streamed matches from Stadiums 1-4. It's the first tournament of this size to have an app like this that includes streaming.
Per the BNP Paribas Open here are other features of the app:
- live streaming of up to 4 courts for visitors at the venue
- radio broadcasts of the action
- live stats of all matches
- match and practice court schedules
- find your seats at both the Main Stadium and the new Stadium 2
- site map to help you find food, shopping and more
- photos and videos showing on-court action and exclusive footage
- news, blogs and social media features
Get ready to enjoy some great tennis, mixed with these high tech enhancements. All at the BNP Paribas Open.