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spiceboy
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:23 PM
Five significant moments that contributed to the growth of the Pacific Life Open, considered one of the six largest tennis tournaments in the world.


1979: Rain washes out the tournament after the quarterfinals, raising doubts if the Coachella Valley can host a top event. At the time, the tournament was not even ranked among the top 30 tennis tournaments in the world. The situation would open the way for Charlie Pasarell to take over the tournament, and he would be the catalyst to expand the event.

1987: Tournament moves to Hyatt Grand Champions. With an 11,500-seat stadium, the tournament has the ability to attract top players, lucrative sponsors and large crowds. The move is the impetus for the tournament to grow significantly.

1995: The womenís and menís tournaments were run back to back rather than concurrently, because of resistance on the womenís side. But when the womenís final day was washed out by rain, it was moved to Monday, the first day of the menís main draw. Seeing the large crowds, the WTA reconsidered their decision, and the men and women would run concurrently the next year.

2000: In 13 years, the tennis tournament outgrows Hyatt Grand Champions. After seriously considering an offer from Las Vegas, Pasarell and Raymond Moore, the president of PM Sports, which runs the tournament, receive a land deal and build the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The facility features a 16,100-seat main stadium and grounds that can accommodate 25,000 fans per session.

2004: The menís tournament grows from a 64-player draw to a 96-player draw, and the event is extended to 10 days. The tournament draws 267,834 fans, surpassing the tournament in Miami and making it fifth in attendance in the world behind the four Grand Slam events.