O’Melveny Advises Endeavor in Deal to Move the Miami Open

December 20, 2017


New York—December 20, 2017—O’Melveny recently represented IMG, an Endeavor company, in an agreement with the Miami Dolphins to relocate the Miami Open tennis tournament to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. Under the terms of the deal, IMG and the Miami Dolphins will build a new tennis complex at Hard Rock Stadium.

The New York-based O’Melveny team was led by Sports Industry Group Co-Chair Irwin Raij, and included associates Matthew Schwartz and Alexander Chester.

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Christine M. Till
O’Melveny & Myers LLP

The following press release was issued by Endeavor:


December 20, 2017

IMG, an Endeavor company, today announced that the Miami Open presented by Itau will be relocating to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. The partnership between IMG and Hard Rock Stadium will bring an unparalleled fan experience, improved player amenities, ample parking, as well as an extended fan base to the Miami Open, a cornerstone of IMG’s events portfolio. Construction on the new tennis facilities will begin in 2018.

The Miami Open’s last event at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, where it has enjoyed a successful 32-year run, will take place in March 2018. While the event had numerous offers to relocate to other cities, IMG committed to finding a solution that would keep the event in South Florida for the benefit of the community, working closely with Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to develop this reimagined event.

“The Miami Open belongs in Miami,” said WME and IMG Co-President Mark Shapiro. “We’re grateful to have amazing partners in Stephen, the Miami Dolphins organization, Mayor Gimenez and above all the people of Miami who have been supporting the Miami Open for decades. While we’re looking forward to creating the new Miami Open experience at Hard Rock Stadium, our priority is to make the last edition of the Key Biscayne event the best it’s ever been.”

“We are extremely excited that the Miami Open, a global entertainment event, will remain in our community,” Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said. “We are committed to bringing a best-in-class experience alongside IMG to all of the players, fans and partners that will take part in this global affair. The opportunity to showcase the best tennis in the world in Hard Rock Stadium, a venue that brings together the best of culture, art and entertainment, will be an amazing experience for everyone involved.”

“The Miami Open has been a part of Miami’s culture for as long as I can remember and it’s a tournament that is very special to me and my family,” added 23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams. “I’ve enjoyed some of my best career moments in Miami thanks to the amazing tournament team and the supportive Miami fans. I am thrilled the Miami Open is staying in Miami, where it belongs.”

Already one of the world’s largest and most prestigious combined tennis events, the move to Hard Rock Stadium will allow the Miami Open the freedom and flexibility to grow and innovate the event with improved infrastructure, upgraded amenities, expanded space and parking. The new Miami Open will have 30 show and practice courts; a tennis oasis with the largest video screen of any tennis event; a sponsorship village with expanded and upgraded entertainment spaces; permanent retail facilities; improved Wi-Fi, media facilities, locker rooms and fitness space for players and tennis staff. The tournament’s sponsors will enjoy state-of-the-art hospitality options, improved activation areas, additional opportunities for brand exposure and access to new markets north of Miami-Dade County.

The centerpiece of the move will be a new Center Court, which will showcase a 14,000-seat stadium within Hard Rock Stadium. Ross has invested more than $500 million into Hard Rock Stadium over the years, which boasts a state-of-the-art shade canopy, four giant high-definition video boards, new seats closer to the action, concourses, restrooms and retail outlets throughout the entire facility, and new premium spaces that raise the caliber for luxury within a sports facility. The move also will allow IMG to take the fan experience to unprecedented heights by incorporating the company’s network across music, fashion, culinary and art.