Dolphins’ Stephen Ross explores tennis venue at Hard Rock Stadium

Serena Williams could be playing at Hard Rock Stadium in the future. (Getty Images)

PHOENIX—Dolphins owner Stephen Ross isn’t trying to steal the Miami Open from Key Biscayne. He just wants it to stay in South Florida.

As tension mounts over the possibility of upgrades to Crandon Park, Ross is exploring the construction of a tennis venue on Hard Rock Stadium’s property. He said today a facility could be built within a year, and the main court matches would theoretically be held inside the stadium.

“If it’s an alternative between staying on Key Biscayne or leaving, I wanted to present them a position that I thought it could work at our stadium,” Ross said.

“It would take advantage of the stadium renovations. We spent a lot of money there. It’s really become an entertainment capital between what we’re doing with soccer and other entertainment acts and football. What we’re doing there, you guys haven’t seen the completed product. It’s in process now and it’s going to be incredible. It’s going to be a real showcase.”

The Miami Open, which is being played now through April 2, has been hosted by Key Biscayne since 1987. Most of the top tennis players in the world participate if healthy, and the tournament has been considered on par with the grand slam events.

According to the Associated Press, there is speculation that Miami could lose the event to a South American or Chinese site.

“We’re just exploring it,” Ross said. “If they can stay on Key Biscayne, they’d probably prefer to stay on Key Biscayne. I think this is a great alternative. I also think it’s important to the people in Miami that they don’t lose the tournament somewhere else.

“That’s really what’s key—just like they lost the (World Golf Championship) somewhere else. We’re looking to do what’s good for South Florida. You can see by the stadium what we’ve done and the activity we’re doing and having El Clasico. The beneficiary is really South Florida.”

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