News Release Header

30, 2012

Fernando Figueredo

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez encourages residents to weigh in on Crandon Park Tennis Center upgrades

Referendum paves the way for keeping the world-renowned Sony Open – and its proven local economic benefits – in Miami for the long run

(Miami-Dade County, FL) – As  part of his broad focus on economic development initiatives, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez reminded voters today of the importance of going to the ballot box on November 6th and weighing in on proposed upgrades to the current facilities at the Crandon Park Tennis Center. 

Through a County-wide referendum on the November 6th ballot, voters will be asked to authorize improvements and expansion of the tennis center’s facilities.  In addition, voters will be asked to extend the usage agreement with the current Sony Open Tennis Tournament operator.  The ballot question is just the first step of the process. If the referendum is approved by voters, the County will enter into negotiations with the operators, who will need to undergo various further development approvals as well.

All improvements and expansions are projected to be paid solely by tennis center and tournament revenues, as well as private funds.  The Sony Open Tennis Tournament has a positive economic impact on Miami-Dade County of more than $386 million annually[1].

“Economic development is one of my top priorities as Mayor, and there’s no doubt that the Sony Open tournament provides a strong economic boost to our local economy, along with tremendous global exposure,” said Mayor Gimenez.  “The referendum asks voters to decide whether they want the County to extend its contract with the current tournament operators who have done an excellent job in making this one of the premiere tennis tournaments in the world,” he added.

The need for a County-wide referendum is in accordance with Article 7 of the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter, which requires that two-thirds of the County’s voters approve extensions or modifications to leases and construction of permanent structures at Crandon Park.  If approved, the proposed park improvements would be the first major updates at the park’s tennis center since 1994.  Improvements would include new green spaces and landscaping, enhanced seating at tennis courts, and the construction of building facilities that can be no larger, intrusive or used more frequently than those proposed for voter approval.

[1] 2012 Economic impact study by SMRI (Sports Management Research Institute)