Tennis is an international sport played by every country on this globe, so it’s apropos a city as diverse and welcoming as Miami hosts a major tournament. The Miami Open, which is in its 32nd year at the picturesque Crandon Tennis Center on Key Biscayne, boosts every sector of Miami, including real estate, as it attracts thousands of fans from all over the world.
The tournament, which is played over two weeks in late March, has introduced many fans to Miami’s resort lifestyle and awe-inspiring beauty while boosting the local economy. Consider: the Miami Open has an annual economic impact of nearly $390 million. It draws more than 300,000 spectators and is responsible for more than 14,000 hotel rooms.
Its impact overseas might be more significant. The tournament is televised internationally, showcasing Miami’s sunny weather and skyline. About 90 domestic hours of TV broadcast the tournament and 190 countries broadcast 8,000 hours of total TV coverage overseas, according to tournament officials.
Key Biscayne, where the tournament is played, is an idyllic location. Fans must travel over the Rickenbacker Causeway, which connects Miami to Key Biscayne. Views of boats, beaches, runners, bicyclists and Miami’s skyline adorn your view as you travel the causeway.
Miami Open’s Diversity is a Perfect Match for Miami
The 2017 Miami Open has players from 44 different countries, an illustration of tennis’s incredible diversity. Players come from countries such as Korea, Tunisia, Serbia, Argentina, Japan, Latvia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain and more.
Miami, meanwhile, is America’s most international city with 51 percent of residents foreign born, according to the U.S. Census.
Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach metro area surpassed six million residents for the first time in 2016.
Of the 500,000 new residents who moved to the Miami, Broward, Palm Beach metro area over the last five years, about 65 percent (335,000) came from other countries, according to U.S. Census data.
Miami’s Growth Prompts a Change in Tournament Name
The tournament had been called the Sony Open for years, but officially changed its name to the Miami Open in August 2014. Officials made the change because of Miami’s growing brand around the world.
The annual event on Key Biscayne will keep the name until at least 2019, according to Latin American bank Itau which took over as the event’s presenting sponsor.
“Leveraging the Miami brand is a great effort to strengthen Miami’s reputation as an epicenter for sport and entertainment,” Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, Itau Unibanco’s Institutional Marketing Director, said at the time.
Tennis is Just a Part of Miami’s Professional Sports Scene
International home buyers want world-class entertainment, and Miami’s three major sports squads are providing it in new or relatively new venues. The NBA’s Miami Heat, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins and NFL’s Miami Dolphins have each won championships and gained international recognition.
Major professional sports do more for a city than just instill civic pride. Sports brand a city globally, attract new residents and fuel commercial investment. Take the story of the 2012 and 2013 LeBron James-led Miami Heat NBA championship teams.
The “Big Three” (LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh) shined the already hot spotlight even brighter on Miami. The Heat’s run to four consecutive NBA Finals led to more TV coverage and more exposure. Miami’s breathtaking skyline and beaches were shown nightly during games. Those same shots aired in many international countries, including China, as the NBA is America’s most global game.
The Heat sold out every game during LeBron’s run, but a more impressive feat happened outside of American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami. The economic impact of the Miami Heat and the area totaled $1.4 billion a year, according to a Miami Downtown Development Authority study.
Downtown Miami’s resurgence was underway when LeBron signed with Miami in 2010, but his success helped encourage residents, business owners and developers to relocate or do more business in Miami.
Today, Downtown Miami has more than doubled its population to 80,000 in the last decade. Realtor.com named Downtown Miami as the nation’s fourth-fastest growing neighborhood. Downtown cultural institutions like the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the Perez Art Museum are attracting new residents and businesses.
Downtown now features more than 392 restaurants and bars and improved public transit. All Aboard Florida, a new Downtown Miami-to-Orlando passenger train, is being built and will include 163,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in downtown. The $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre, which opened recently, and the $1.7 billion Miami Worldcenter have arrived or are on their way.
Major League Soccer coming to Miami?
Legendary soccer player and global icon David Beckham is planning to build a new, 25,000-seat Miami stadium for a new Major League Soccer expansion team. Multiple reports say the team may begin playing in 2019.
Soccer, of course, is the world’s most popular sport. According to FIFA’s most recent Big Count survey, there are 265 million players actively involved in soccer around the world, roughly about 4 percent of the world’s population.
Soccer is a perfect fit for South Florida as the region is an international melting pot with many residents coming from countries where fùtbol is a national passion. In addition to its diverse community, South Florida has direct access to Europe and Latin America and annually ranks among the highest rates of TV soccer viewership in the United States.