Roger Federer drives Miami Open to record attendance of 388,734


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Roger Federer drives Miami Open to record attendance of 388,734

Settled in Key Biscayne since 1987, Miami Open has grown into one of the most important tournaments outside Majors and the biggest Masters 1000 event together with Indian Wells. The old complex ($50 million worth of renovations to the Crandon Park site was not allowed) hosted Miami Open until 2018 and the organizers have switched the location to Hard Rock Stadium for 2019 edition, investing $72 million and building 30 courts and finding the new home of this prestigious event for the years to come.

Home of the NFL Miami Dolphins team, a temporary 13,800-seat (with additional 4,738 premium seats) main court was erected on the football field while the Grandstand court and all the others settled on the parking lots, forging the modern complex that also raised the ticket prices to 40% in comparison to last year.

Despite that and the early exit of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams' withdrawal, the organizers announced the total attendance of 388,734, passing the old record from 2012 when 326,131 people came to watch the best tennis players in the world at Crandon Park.

With new facilities and courts (there are 18 practice courts nine more than at the old site), the event has set 15 session attendance records over two weeks and the most crowded one was session nine when 32,831 people watched the action.

In men's final, Roger Federer defeated John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour to lift the fourth Miami crown, with the crowd of 17,373 attending the clash between the fans' favorite and defending champion. The grounds were open two hours before every session, allowing the spectators to enjoy in good food, shopping, street art or music.

Instead of changing the location to Dubai, Hong Kong, or Singapore, Miami Open is ready to stay at Hard Rock Stadium for years to come despite some problems that should be fixed for the 2020 edition, with a fantastic base to work from and space to improve in various areas and deliver even better experience for both fans and players.