Did William Shakespeare play tennis? I guess only his trainer knows for sure. But according to Larry Ellison—the billionaire co-founder of Oracle who not only owns sprawling Rancho Mirage estate Porcupine Creek Ranch but the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and its signature annual event, The BNP Paribas Open—the first theatregoers to witness the Bard’s comedy and tragedy surely did. The tournament owns what insiders claim is the biggest and best assortment of memorabilia in the world, and Ellison has told Bloomberg News that some of the artifacts hail from the Elizabethan era.
Those relics and so much more will find a permanent home in a tennis museum to be housed in the new Stadium 3 of the complex, construction of which will break ground immediately following the close of the next iteration of the BNP Paribas Open in March 2016. To be built where Court 3 now stands—wedged between Stadium 1 and Stadium 2—Stadium 3 will be unveiled in time for the 2017 tournament.
As the event itself has exploded in popularity over the last few years—more than 450,000 tickets were sold earlier this year—so has the site at which it takes place. Stadium 2 was added to the grounds in March 2014, seating some 8000 spectators and featuring a trio of world-class fine dining restaurants, including Nobu.
Stadium 3 will seat 5000 tennis aficionados, and the museum it includes—the first on the globe to be contained within a stadium, and whose emphasis will be the history of the tournament (formerly dubbed the Pacific Life Open) as well as its competitors and victors through the years—will enable the sports complex to expands its days of operation to almost 10 months a year. That’s great news for we who love and champion the City of Rancho Mirage. As more visitors come to the Coachella Valley to check out the new arena and its tennis museum, they will find their way to our resorts, restaurants, retail stores, and attractions. It gives a whole new meaning to love-love, doesn’t it?