Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips? - TennisForum.com
TennisForum.com   Wagerline.com MensTennisForums.com TennisUniverse.com
TennisForum.com is the premier Women's Tennis forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.Please Register - It's Free!
Reply

Old Feb 26th, 2013, 07:54 AM   #1
country flag duhcity
moderately sarcastic
 
duhcity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,085
duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute
Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Title.

Any tips?
__________________

instargram
duhcity is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 

Old Feb 26th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #2
country flag Kipling
Kaptain of Kool
 
Kipling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,437
Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony. View Post
Title.

Any tips?
What specifically are you looking for? The tournament or other stuff around Miami? I can help with the former, not so much with the latter.

I hope you already have tickets and a hotel/place to stay, because that time of year is spring break in Florida and accomodations go very fast, especially the ones in better locations at good prices. If not, staying in Coconut Grove is ideal, because it is just minutes from the tournament venue, across the Rickenbacker causeway, in a nice, fairly quiet setting on Biscayne Bay. You can shoot right up Bayshore Dr. in the morning, across the causeway, and into the main public parking area across from the Seaquarium on Virginia Key in just about 10 minutes from Coconut Grove, depending on the morning traffic. Of course, if you have a parking pass that gets you down closer to the parking area at the main gate, good for you, but those can run you more for the week. The public parking on Virginia Key works quite well, IMO, if you get there EARLY and plan strategically. They use buses and generally do a great job keeping them running constantly to keep people moving into the tournament site once people start showing up, and then at the end of the day, back to the parking area from the tournament. But if you dick around until 10 or 11 or Noon you will find LONG lines, especially on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Get there early--no later that 9--and you should have no problem. First matches are at 10 on some outer courts on the early days, gates open at 9:30 if you have a Mastercard, as they will let you in a half hour early. The public parking on Virginia Key is 12 dollars per day and starts on Wednesday when the main draw play starts. If you go the first two days for qualifying, they will let you park at the main gate--still $12 a day.

I like to get in as soon as the gates open, pick up a copy of the daily schedule for a buck, and make a complete circuit of all of the courts to see who is out practicing, taking pics/vids. Then at 10:00, depending on who is playing, I will go watch a match or several, or keep making circuits of the practice courts looking for particular players. 10-11 is also a great time to grab something to eat, as the food court is pretty empty then. If you wait until 11:30-1:30, you can pretty much forget about getting a seat. Same goes for 5-7PM.

The tourney info says you aren't supposed to bring food, racquets, horns, banners or commercial recording devices. Or weapons (duh). I've seen people bring food. I think you can bring "snacks" as long as you don't bring in "meals". The food there is good but not cheap. Waters are $3.25 or 3.50 each, a hamburger is close to 10 bucks, so is a salad...like I said, it isn't cheap. Hit the Lindt tent as they give those away if you like chocolate.

Players are accessible for photos/autographs on the practice courts. You can get right up on the fence if you want (and assuming you are there at the right time and not trampled by a mob--I got gored by one rushing after Rafa a few years back) At the start of the tournament, there are 6 regular practice courts plus a number of other outer courts (4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10) regularly used for practice, so you really do have do a LOT of walking to check everybody out. But it is exciting, because just for the buzz of a crowd you can sense who MIGHT be around the next corner. Last year I happened to catch Fed on 5, Murray on 4 and Djokovic on 7 all at the same time, and there had to be at least a thousand people back there watching them practice. When I went around to find a large group around Ana Ivanovic on the other side, I wanted to get her picture but couldn't find a spot on the fence, so I casually mentioned that Fed, Murray and the Djoker were on the back side, and 75% of the people watching Ana cleared out and sprinted off, and I had a nice clear shot of her.

THe weather is nice there--usually about 78-82 on any given day and very BREEZY, only an occasional shower or two, but we've been lucky with rain the past few years. March is a good month for that. It can get warm up in the stands, especially on a court with stands/seats facing into the sun, so bring lots of sunscreen and a hat, and this may sound odd, but at night, on that island, it gets very chilly because it is so windy. If you stay for night matches you will freeze your butt off if you are not a Yankee--I can't deal with cold so I have to get a latte and buy a sweatshirt from the Fila shop if I am going to sit up in the stands on stadium court at night down there.

Which brings me to seats/tickets. Any stadium ticket will get you into any court on the grounds on a first come first served basis. I am not one to follow the "name" players much so I could care less about watching day matches in the stadium, so I buy a 400 level (i.e., top level seat) in the stadium and use it as a grounds pass to watch matches on the outer courts and in the grandstand court all day--the Grandstand is the second biggest court--a mini-stadium. They do not sell grounds passes unless and untill the stadium sells out, and also on the 1st 2 days, when there are no matches in the stadium. If you are going to stay all day and watch both day and night matches on any given day, buy a daily double for that day as you get a discount, usually like 10 or 15 percent off the total price for both tickets.

If you don't care about seeing the stadium matches, a slightly cheaper alternative is to buy a grandstand ticket, which gets you a reserved seat in the grandstand and access to all other outer courts except the stadium.

I think that's a pretty good primer for anyone going to Miami, but if you have other questions, just ask, and I will do my best to answer.
__________________
* Aravane Rezai * Heidi El Tabakh * Garbiñe Muguruza * Julia Goerges * Nastassja Burnett * Louisa Chirico * Katharina Lehnert * Alizé Lim *

AravaneCaravan's tennis blog: http://thearavanecaravan.wordpress.com
'

Last edited by Kipling : Feb 26th, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
Kipling is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #3
country flag duhcity
moderately sarcastic
 
duhcity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,085
duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Oh, awesome answer, thanks a ton! This really helps.
I'm a college student in New Orleans from New York, and my friend has a house in Miami, so my housing is locked up.

Looking at it on like Google Maps, it seems far away from Miami. How long is the drive?
Basically, it seems very similar to the US Open experience, down to the expensive food and hot days/cold nights.
Are backpacks allowed? If they aren't, how serious are they about size limitations? Any public outlets for phone charging anywhere? How is service (Verizon) out on the Keys? Is there a certain day that is particularly action packed on the grounds? Does it empty out considerably after the first weekend before the Semis/Finals?
__________________

instargram
duhcity is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #4
country flag Kipling
Kaptain of Kool
 
Kipling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,437
Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony. View Post
Oh, awesome answer, thanks a ton! This really helps.
I'm a college student in New Orleans from New York, and my friend has a house in Miami, so my housing is locked up.

Looking at it on like Google Maps, it seems far away from Miami. How long is the drive?
Basically, it seems very similar to the US Open experience, down to the expensive food and hot days/cold nights.
Are backpacks allowed? If they aren't, how serious are they about size limitations? Any public outlets for phone charging anywhere? How is service (Verizon) out on the Keys? Is there a certain day that is particularly action packed on the grounds? Does it empty out considerably after the first weekend before the Semis/Finals?

Hi. You will have a great time. Since you are in Miami, it's not far. Don't be fooled when you hear the name "Key" Biscayne. It's not in the Keys like Key West is. Key Biscayne is only a few minutes from downtown Miami. Depending on where you are staying, it shouldn't be too bad of a drive. Here is a map showing how to get to the stadium from Coconut Grove, the place where I mentioned before. If you zoom out a little, you can see all of Miami. http://mapq.st/13RC5Sm The public parking where the buses pick you up is actually on Virginia Key where it says "Arthur Lamb Jr. Road". You pay $12 at the entrance and then drive way back a few miles to a big parking lot in the back next to a sewage treatment plant and buses start loading everybody up and bringing them in to the main gate at 9AM.

Backpacks are allowed. I've seen so many of them there through the years. This is what it says you can't bring: "The following items are prohibited and MAY NOT be brought onto the grounds: Sealed packages of any kind; briefcases; hard coolers or like containers; glass bottles or cans; aerosol cans or noisemaking devices; alcoholic beverages; commercial video cameras or recording devices; computers or laptops; food (except in limited quantities, or for medical dietary or infant purposes); weapons (regardless of permit); pets (unless a service animal); flags, banners or signs, laser pointing devices; tennis racquets; bicycles; scooters of any type; in-line skates; roller skates; skateboards; and any other items deemed unlawful or dangerous by the management of Sony Open Tennis, in its sole discretion. Prohibited items brought onto the premises will be confiscated by security officials and will not be returned. Please leave any unnecessary items at home or in your vehicle."

About the phone--that one I am afraid I don't have an answer for. I am not really a big phone person so I haven't had a need to know. It says on the Sony Open website if you have any questions about tournament policies you could call this number (305.442.3367) or send an email to tickets@imgworld.com, though. You might try that. I think the service at Crandon Park is fine, though--everyone I see is on their phone texting away or chatting or looking up stuff on the internet, so I can't imaging that there is any problem with service there.

As far as the action goes, everyone has their preferences for when to go and stuff. I always go the first week. I will say this--Monday and Tuesday are qualifying days for men and women and are fairly lightly attended--for MIAMI--but still, in comparison to a regular WTA event, there are plenty of people, and IMHO it's the best time to see the big name players on the practice courts. If you don't want to get run over trying to see Fed or Rafa, this is the time to do it. Also, Tuesday the women play some 1st round matches (no seeds though). On Wednesday, the 1st rounds start, and Wednesday-Thursday are probably the most fun days, as the crowds are still not that bad, good players are playing and everyone is practicing. Plus, doubles is starting. So every court is being used, ALL day. They even often use practice courts courts 9 and 10 to play matches when the schedule backs up late in the day--I've watched many faves on those courts standing by the fence just feet away from them as they played 1st round matches before. On these nights, actually from Wednesday through Sunday, there is usually tennis going on at night on several courts, not just the stadium, so day ticket holders can stay into the night to watch tennis on outer courts plus night ticket holders can watch anything. Plus, before it gets busy for the weekend, for the night matches, on nights when the women play the last match in the stadium, they will often invite us goobers with 400 level tickets in the nosebleed seats to come down and sit in the box seats down on the court level. The past two years I did that to watch Sania Mirza and Chirstina McHale play stadium court matches during the middle of that first week. So for me, those are the ideal days. A LOT of tennis for the $.

The weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are great days because the quality of the tennis goes up (Friday-Saturday is the womens' second round, Sunday is womens' round 3, doubles all weekend, seeds start playing) but it gets brutally crowded. You can immediately tell--traffic picks up, it takes longer to get to the stadium parking, to get on the bus, to get to the gate, and you run into people scalping tickets and trying to buy tickets outside the gate. Finding tables to sit down to eat and trying to find an empty restroom can be a pain as well. On the other hand, the crowds are huge and fun you can usually spot Mary Joe Fernandez or one of the Jensens or Jim Courier or Bud Collins' pants. And everywhere you look you see players. You have to be fast though! While walking around I have literally crashed into and rubbed shoulders with Nicole Vaidisova, Alize Cornet, Domi Cibulkova, Vania King, Virginie Razzano, Nadia Petrova, Lucie Saferova, Flavia Pennetta and several others. And you never know who will be sitting next to you at a match. Last year at one of Sania's singles qualifiers a girl in glasses and a baseball cap sat next to me in the top row of the bleachers and started clapping for Sania. When I turned to look at her, my eyes bugged out when I saw that it was Elena Vesnina.

So I know that is a long answer, but the answer to your question is not easy--the "best tennis" is probably that first weekend, but the ideal viewing and most fun might be a day or two earlier when it's a little less hectic. Optimally, if you can, stay for Wednesday-Saturday or Sunday and decide for yourself!

I haven't been during the second week, so I don't know how crowded it is or isn't then. But I think it does lighten a little since there are fewer matches and the gates open a little later in the day.
__________________
* Aravane Rezai * Heidi El Tabakh * Garbiñe Muguruza * Julia Goerges * Nastassja Burnett * Louisa Chirico * Katharina Lehnert * Alizé Lim *

AravaneCaravan's tennis blog: http://thearavanecaravan.wordpress.com
'

Last edited by Kipling : Feb 26th, 2013 at 08:30 PM.
Kipling is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:18 PM   #5
country flag JeffreyGOLU
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 784
JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all JeffreyGOLU is a name known to all
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Do you know if it will be really far from the court on section 400? Will it be hard to see the ball and the players??
JeffreyGOLU is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4th, 2013, 03:54 AM   #6
country flag brickhousesupporter
Senior Member
 
brickhousesupporter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: it is all about location
Posts: 12,908
brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

What Aravanecaravan said is correct. There are also a couple of hotels just at the entrance of the causeway. Also save some time to check out the Seaquarium and Vizcaya. I mean you are right there, you might as well see them.
__________________
I am not conceited, I am just convinced
brickhousesupporter is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4th, 2013, 10:19 AM   #7
country flag Kipling
Kaptain of Kool
 
Kipling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,437
Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyGOLU View Post
Do you know if it will be really far from the court on section 400? Will it be hard to see the ball and the players??
I can tell you it's surely a lot better than from the top of Ashe stadium, lol.

Kidding aside, it's not bad at all. Here is video shot from my regular seat, shot with a 12X point and shoot:







The view is fine from there. It's a purple court, so the ball is easily visible. You're not going to see a "TV view", obviously, with close ups of the faces, but if you have a good camera, you can still get some decent photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brickhousesupporter View Post
Also save some time to check out the Seaquarium and Vizcaya. I mean you are right there, you might as well see them.

I need to do that someday. But I can't ever seem to tear myself away from the tennis, lol.



I forgot to mention--IF you are in Coconut Grove, the past several years, they have had a player function there on Thursday night of the first week. I've always been at the tournament, and never back early enough to go, but supposedly, somewhere in the Grove at Cocowalk some players show up for a promotional thing and are avalaiable for photos/autographs. I'm pretty sure Djokovic was there one year. Tamira Paszek was there a few years ago. They always put pictures of it on the WTA site and in the tournament's daily match schedule the day after.
__________________
* Aravane Rezai * Heidi El Tabakh * Garbiñe Muguruza * Julia Goerges * Nastassja Burnett * Louisa Chirico * Katharina Lehnert * Alizé Lim *

AravaneCaravan's tennis blog: http://thearavanecaravan.wordpress.com
'

Last edited by Kipling : Mar 4th, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
Kipling is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #8
country flag duhcity
moderately sarcastic
 
duhcity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,085
duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute duhcity has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Yeah my only experience with live events is New Haven and the US Open, I don't think the size of the court is going to bother me at well.
I also don't see any interest in practicing players unless it's my absolute faves. I feel like the players only do fun stuff at Indian Wells. I'll probably hit up qualies, a day of the first round, take a beach day, and then choose based on which half plays.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll find an outlet the first day. At the US Open, the Chase booths had open outlets on day1, and everyone was swarming around them. By day 2, they were sealed

Anyway, thank you so much for the info! My friend actually lives in Ft. Lauderdale, so the drives a bit of the hike but it's worth it.
__________________

instargram
duhcity is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #9
country flag okck
Senior Member
 
okck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 407
okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light okck is a glorious beacon of light
How easy is it to get to Crandon Park by public transport from downtown?


Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
okck is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #10
country flag brickhousesupporter
Senior Member
 
brickhousesupporter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: it is all about location
Posts: 12,908
brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute brickhousesupporter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by okck View Post
How easy is it to get to Crandon Park by public transport from downtown?


Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
I would say not very easy. Public transport in Miami (Florida) is not greatest. Miami is definitely a city where you need a car. Try this....enter the address where you are staying and the destination address and when you want to arrive into the trip planner and it will tell you what you need to do.

http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/rou....asp?route=102
__________________
I am not conceited, I am just convinced
brickhousesupporter is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #11
country flag Kipling
Kaptain of Kool
 
Kipling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,437
Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute Kipling has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

There is also a shuttle that makes a circuit between some of the hotels to and from Crandon Park:

http://www.sonyopentennis.com/Travel...-Schedule.aspx

Also, if your hotel is not on that schedule, you might call and check with them to see if there is some kind of shuttle or other transportation available. They should be able to help.
__________________
* Aravane Rezai * Heidi El Tabakh * Garbiñe Muguruza * Julia Goerges * Nastassja Burnett * Louisa Chirico * Katharina Lehnert * Alizé Lim *

AravaneCaravan's tennis blog: http://thearavanecaravan.wordpress.com
'
Kipling is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 18th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #12
country flag nmosier
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice nmosier is just really nice
Re: Visiting Key Biscayne and the Sony Open - Tips?

I think Verizon cell service should be fine. My friend told me last year that where outlets near the bathrooms- and also in first aid area. So there might be options for charging a device. As far as tickets go- we got ours from Tickets of American (http://ticketsofamerica.com) and I know they still have some decent seats left- as well as parking passes!
nmosier is offline View My Blog!   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Copyright (C) Verticalscope Inc
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBCredits v1.4 Copyright ©2007, PixelFX Studios