Everything about the BNP Paribas Open is supersized. With world-class players entered — 2013 champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, plus Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka, David Ferrer, Roger Federer, and newly crowned Australian Open winners Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na — this is tennis at its finest.
The BNP is also the most-attended ATP World Tour and WTA tennis tournament on the planet — at the world’s second-largest tennis stadium, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. More than 380,000 fans came to follow the action last year at this spectacular venue, and this year’s event, March 3–16, is set to outdraw that record. The action happens in the 16,100-seat main stadium and seven match courts scattered across the 54-acre site. Negotiating this small city calls for almost as much strategy as goes into the court action, and we’ve got some tips to help with the game plan.
- Saturday, March 1: Pre-Open Kids Day. The day’s fun includes on-court clinics and ATP World Tour and WTA pro player appearances.
- Monday and Tuesday, March 3-4: Women’s qualifying draw, 10 a.m. on the outside courts.
- Tuesday, March 4: Men’s qualifying draw, 10 a.m. in the main stadium. Prize giveaways and the chance to have your photo taken with guest players.
- Thursday, March 6: City of Indian Wells Residents Day. All Indian Wells residents can get free tickets to this full day of matches. Visit Indian Wells City Hall to pick up tickets.
- Friday, March 7: Salute to Heroes Main Stadium ceremony, following the first evening session match. All veterans and current military, police, and fire personnel receive two complimentary tickets for the evening session. Guests will be asked for ID at the south gate box office.
Special prices for special fans
Local residents, students, seniors, military, and USTA members get a 30-percent discount on main stadium loge seats for select sessions.
- Thursday, March 6: Champions Night. All tickets are $13 for the evening, with a percentage of sales going to The Champions Volunteer Foundation and many local charities.
Extras for ticket holders
Check the daily draw sheet to see which players are scheduled to sign autographs March 5-16. Watch your favorites practicing for their matches on courts 1-20, on the south side of the stadium. Look for the schedule on information towers next to these practice courts.
- March 7-14: Nightly Tennis Village entertainment from 5 to 7 p.m.
New this year
- 8,000 permanent seats in Stadium 2
- A marquee site entrance and box office on Washington Street
- A second, 19,000-square-foot shade structure
- Four more practice courts
- Grass parking for 2,000 more cars
- Three gourmet restaurants in Stadium 2 — Nobu, The Chop House, and Piero’s Pizza Vino
Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 78200 Miles Ave., Indian Wells. 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000. Full schedule: www.bnpparibasopen.com
- Daily tickets for the Main Stadium start at $13 for the first Thursday evening session and go to $100 for loge seats for the championship weekend. Children younger than 3 will need tickets if they need their own seat. There are no “rush” situations, so buy your preferred times early.
- Parking is $20 per car, per entry
- The main box office is on the southeast side of Stadium 2, accessible from Washington Street, with other box offices at the north and south gates. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- All seats are outside and open-air. Depending on the time of day, there are shady seats on the south, west, northwest, and southwest sides of the courts.
- The next day’s match schedule is posted online and onsite each evening no later than 7 p.m.
- No: Alcohol, glass containers, smoking, pets, flash photography, and commercial photography or video recording.
- Yes: Sunscreen, hats, patience, and good humor.