Help me plan for next Year (Indian Wells or Florida)

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by ATXtennisaddict, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Should I head to Indian Wells for the pacific life open, or Florida for the Sony Ericsson Open?

    If so, how much can I expect to pay (excluding air ticket)? I see packages on the Indian Wells website but that's if you take THEIR accomodations right?
    Will it be cheaper to book your own hotels? Where would be cheap? I don't need expensive because I'll be out all day watching tennis.

    Should I watch the first few days? I'd like to watch Roger Federer (it's my goal to watch him play live).

    Advice,tips?!? I'd like to plan ahead for this vacation.
     
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  2. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
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  3. Watcher

    Watcher Semi-Pro

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    If you want to base it off of this year's events, I'd say Indian Wells had a more exciting week than Miami. Which could be reversed next year of course, but.
     
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  4. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I'd like to watch as much tennis as I can over a course of a few days including the weekend...like Fri,Sat,Sun tennis, then fly back home monday or tuesday.
     
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  5. McStud

    McStud Rookie

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    well, I've only been to the sony ericsson (nasdaq) so i can only tell you what i thought about that tournament. it is incredible, miami/key biscane is unreal. the tournament is at a great facility. ive heard its actually a public facility too! i would recommend getting there sometime during the first half of the tournament. there is tons of play going on everywhere. you will see everyone! one of my fav things was watching the players practice on the outer courts, you can walk right up to the court and stand like 10 ft away from federer, safin, nadal, etc.. but im sure you will have a blast no matter where/when you go.
     
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  6. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    do they sell groud passes at Indian Wells?
     
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  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ditto with this. I live her in Miami, so I have been going to that tournament since it was the Lipton. It is amazing, and as McStud said, you get to see all the players (men/women) warming up on the practice courts, which are all over the grounds, and you are standing about 10-15 feet away from them.

    I woudl definitely advise you to try and go out the first week, as there are many more players you could see.

    And yes, it is also a public facility.
     
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  8. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    drakulie/mcstud, what kind of tickets/pass do u need to watch these players up close practicing and playing etc during first week? I intend to go first week for the reasons u mentioned.

    BTW, what's the closest airport to key biscayne?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
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  9. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I’m looking at the Sony Ericsson packages and there’s a package called “Opening Weekend” that has a package for $144 that includes 2 sessions each on Fri/Sat/Sun of the opening week. Is that what you guys think should be good? It looks cheap…
     
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  10. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Haven't been to Miami, but I went to Indian Wells several years ago and it was fantastic. You can find pretty cheap lodging if you look hard enough, and it's easy to find places to play there also (after watching great tennis, you'll want to play tennis also). You could also check out the Brady Tennis camp that is going on at the same time.
     
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  11. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to play tennis. Just watch and enjoy the sights/city/eat good food.
     
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  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    With any regular ticket you get to see any and all matches going on. The ticket is for the Main Stadium, but it allows you access to all the courts.

    For example, you could go the the stadium and watch a couple of games there. Then leave and go watch a couple of games at the GrandStand, or Court 1, etc. etc. etc.

    The first week is amazing because you have matches going on in every court. You may lose your mind deciding which match to watch, but that is part of the fun. There is also practice sessions going on all day long.

    Both men and women mathces are going on, as well as doubles matches, I have even seen a bunch of wheelchair matches.

    If you are a big tennis fan ( I am sure you are, since you are on this site) you will no be dissapointed.

    Plus you could go and hang out at the Famous Coconut Grove, South Beach,etc.

    I have a great time there every year.
     
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  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    If this package means you get to go to 2 sessions each day (Fri/Sat/Sun), that means you have passes to both the day and night session each day. Very good package! You will get to see almost all the top players, unless they lose in the first day or two.

    However, for me I always go the first weekend.
     
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  14. ATXtennisaddict

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    Isn't that the first weekend? Not qualifiers...starts with 2nd round of Men'sWomen's
     
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  15. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sorry I confused you. Yes, the package you spoke about is the one you want to go to.
     
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  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    This is definitely the package you want:

    Opening Weekend (Friday 3/23 - Sunday 3/25)
    These sessions feature all the top players playing all weekend long! Your ticket entitles you to a reserved 400-level seat in the stadium, plus access to the outer courts.

    • Flex-4 ... You Decide! - $110 (save 27%)
    Choose 4 of the 6 sessions below for $110 and save as much as 27% off the regular price.

    • Classic Package - $144 (save 27%)
    Buy all six sessions for $144, a 20% savings off the regular price.

    Sessions Day/Date Time Regular Price
    Session 5 Friday 3/23 11 am $30
    Session 6 Friday 3/23 7 pm $24
    Session 7 Saturday 3/24 11 am $48
    Session 8 Saturday 3/24 7 pm $24
    Session 9 Sunday 3/25 11 am $48
    Session 10 Sunday 3/25 7 pm $24

    Ticket packages can be purchased by calling the Sony Ericsson Open ticket office at 305-442-3367 or emailing the ticket office at tickets@sonyericssonopen.com. Packages are on sale now!
     
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  17. dubsplayer

    dubsplayer Semi-Pro

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    Never been too IW, but I go to Miami every year, from the qualies (which are $5 I think - through the following Monday. But I rarely go to any matches in the stadium - so I get cheapest seat - which early in the week is only $1o then $15 and jumps to $25 or so for the weekend. There are so many great matches on the outer courts and you get to see all the players practicing that it's silly, imo, to pay for expensive seat in Stadium. I think over the last 20 years I've sat in my stadium seat maybe 5 times.
     
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  18. ATXtennisaddict

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    $144 is a great price imo. I gotta pay $400 to go to Florida anyway.

    Which airport is closest to Key Biscayne, anyone??
     
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  19. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Miami International Airport! If you do come down, let me know, and I will meet up with you at the park!
     
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  20. Fee

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    I highly recommend Indian Wells. I think it is one of the most fan friendly tournaments I have ever been to, despite the weather. For one thing, most of the grounds are flat, so they are easy to get around. The courts are laid out basically in a row (look at the grounds map) with all of the practice courts along the first row, a mixture of practice and playing courts along the second row, and a few more courts along the side with the Grandstand in the middle. There are free shuttles every hour from 9 hotels in the area (air conditioned, comfy seats) and even if you don't stay there, you can park at the Embassy Suites and ride the shuttle in if you like (wink).

    If you go to IW, get there on Wednesday for the women's first round and the first round of men's qualies. The Men's first round begins on Friday, and almost every top player has played at least one match by Sunday. You can buy a 'grounds pass' for less than $30 the first few days if you have a USTA card or student idea. If you are inside with your grounds pass before 4 pm, you can stay for the night matches on the outside courts without a seperate ticket (but not the Grandstand). It's actually a pair of nosebleed seats to the grandstand, but it will get you onto every court and there is not a bad seat on any of the outside courts. There is so much tennis going on the first four days of IW, it can make you dizzy. I was there one year and I stayed at the practice courts for one whole day because there was so much going on and I kept running into all kinds of people that I knew.

    The nearest airport is Palm Springs. If you are willing to rent a car, the next airport is Ontario, about an hour away (very easy). You will need the car anyway to stay at the cheaper hotels. There are all kinds of places to eat in Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Palm Springs, just depends on what you are willing to do.

    The downside of IW is the weather. It can be brutally hot during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down and the breeze kicks up, you can freeze your rear end off. Slather sunscreen on your entire body before you get dressed, wear a hat and very comfortable shoes, and take a bottle of water to refill during the day.
     
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  21. FEDEXP

    FEDEXP Professional

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    I looked into the Miami event last year (and wound up going to the 2006 Ausralian Open, than God) and was told that the best seats are not sold to the public....at all. They made a big deal about changing that this year but myself, I'd head to Indian Wells.
     
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  22. Grigollif1

    Grigollif1 Semi-Pro

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    Flip a coin man...Cali or Miami... can't go wrong...

    I Have been to Indian Wells, and it is a very laid back desert type of city. Is a really relaxing place, simple complex strucutre, not much party and noise going on outside of the stadiums. Miami on the other hand, must be more agitated being close to the beach scene and everything... I would say , if you want to go to a more relaxed type of place just to focus on the tennis, doesn't get much better then IW. If you want to get more of a party athmosphere and agitation, Miami is problably the place...
     
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  23. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    If you go to IW make sure you make time to go up the mountain on the cable car and drink a brandy at the bar up there, the altitude makes it feel like yo have drank several!
     
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  24. 4brotherdrive

    4brotherdrive Rookie

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    Miami, cause i live there. Gone to the Nasdaq and have gone to tournaments there and its really amazing. And theres also a bunch of other things to do like visit the beach, hit the clubs etc.....
     
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  25. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    I can't wait to go to Indian Wells! My first tennis tournament, and I will be staying with family in Palm Desert (practically across the street).
     
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  26. ATXtennisaddict

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    What are some cheap hotels I could stay at that are close by to tournament site in both IW and KB?
     
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  27. Fee

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    If you have a car, you can stay at the Motel Six in Palm Desert. It's off of Washington Blvd, and Washington Blvd leads straight to the Tennis Garden. If you want better digs and don't mind driving a little bit more, there is a Red Roof Inn a little farther away, and that one inludes free wireless. Both of those hotels are less than $100 per night.
     
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  28. Kid Carlos

    Kid Carlos Semi-Pro

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    You will not find a cheap Hotel at that time in Miami. Its the World Music Festival. All the top Dj and club goer's will be there and prices are insane for anything. However Ive been to Miami 4 times and its awesome and the Nasdaq is a great tournament. On the flip side Indian wells is beautiful venue however there is not much else going on there. Alot of retired people and not much of a nightlife. So pick your poision, they both wont be cheap, but I think Indian Wells will be better value.
     
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  29. Greengrass

    Greengrass New User

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    I found this thread by accident as I don't often come here ... but me and other half are thinking of doing the same thing - though we had practically decided on Miami ... but see that someone has mentioned high hotel prices - but that may be offset for us by the cost of flying to California from the UK. I will bookmark this thread for future ref. thanks guys.
     
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  30. tkramer15

    tkramer15 Rookie

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    Issue with Miami

    I went to the Miami event in 2005 and had a great time, but there were some drawbacks. Unlike at the Cincinnati Masters event, which I've gone to every year since 1996, it can be difficult to get a seat on some of the outer courts. There are so many matches going on (men and women) that big names frequently play on courts with intimate seating, which sounds great, but it can be tough to actually get in. The grandstand and third courts at Miami aren't even permanent stadiums.

    So while big names can be watched within close proximity, it was challenging to get around to see everything. I don't know for sure, but I'll guess that Indian Wells is similar. That's not the case at Cincy. The stadium court at Miami is fantastic and obviously you can't beat the weather or the setting, but for me Cincinnati is better, especially if you're more interested in watching men's matches than women's. Regardless of the drawbacks, however, I would certainly attend either the Miami or Indian Wells tourneys in the future. Their settings alone make them two of the most attractive events on the tour.
     
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  31. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    You can get very cheap rooms in Riverside and drive to IW, if money is part of your decision this is the way to go.
     
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  32. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    Nothing beats Indian Wells in March. Definatley go during the first week so that you can see many more players in practice and matches.
     
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  33. Fee

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    That's a 35 to 60 minute drive depending where you stay. The time, distance and gas would nullify any savings on hotel costs. You can stay in Beaumont or Cherry Valley or even Redlands using your philosophy.

    Just mapquest the address of any hotel that you are looking at, so that you are not surprised by the reality once you get there.
     
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  34. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    There are also many casinos in the Indian Wells area (withen 10-20mins).
     
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  35. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Why Choose??!! It's only money and you're worth it!
     
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  36. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    I've been to them both, and they are both wonderful. IW is a bit harder to get to, as there is no major airport nearby, but the venue is beautiful and the tennis is superb. It's great being able to see women's matches as well as the men's.

    On the other hand, I agree with the poster who said that Miami has a "younger crowd." There is more going on in the area -- I stayed in Coconut Grove and loved it. And although the venue is gorgeous -- it's a beautiful ride over the causeway onto Key Biscayne, that same ride can be a nightmare during high traffic hours.

    I also think IW is a bit more fan friendly than Miami. I think it's because there is an "older crowd" at IW and they don't bother the players the way they do at some events, so the players are more "off guard." There are more kids chasing the players around in Miami, so you don't see the players milling around as much. Also, the practice courts are spread out quite a bit, so it's not as easy to tell who is out practicing at any given time. I still think, though, that Cincy is the most fan friendly Masters event out there.

    Hotels in the IW area are very expensive, but as Fee said, you can find some cheaper places if you have a car. You likely can in the Miami area, too, if you want to drive a bit, but I have never checked that out.

    I am going to IW for a few days this year. I was thinking of Miami instead, but my husband caved in and agreed to go to Rome with me. I figured that was the better deal. ;-)

    Good luck!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
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  37. gully

    gully Semi-Pro

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    I'll chip in -- I went to IW in 03 and 06 and Miami in 01. While I really enjoyed Miami, I think IW is a better deal.

    Both places feature great draws (all the top players, men and women), good access to outer-court action, and reasonable prices for long days of action. To my recollection, ticket prices, lodging, and transportation were all lower at IW than Miami. There may have been more nightlife in Miami, but if that's not your thing, IW seemed to me a better deal.

    I will say I thought the TENNIS -- just in terms of quality -- was a little better at Miami, and has been historically. The players seem to struggle with the odd combination of slow courts and thin desert air at IW, but by the time they're in Miami, they really seem to have their timing down.

    At IW, the practice courts are very accessible. Elena Dementieva walked right up to me and said hello (with a gracious smile that had nothing to do with me personally at twice her age) after one session, and my daughter and I sat a few feet away from her, Mirza, Paradorn, Blake, and some others while they worked out.

    The stadium courts at both are practically identical, with IW's newer (and its upper-bowl seating a little more comfortable). FWIW, it was impossible (in 01 at least) to move to better seats in Miami's stadium; the IW ushers were a little less draconian. I also preferred IW because I enjoyed the cool air at night, though some would find it frigid, I'm sure.

    Still, a lot of this is just personal preference. You'll enjoy either, so go to one this year and the other the next, if you can.
     
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  38. LeftyServe

    LeftyServe Semi-Pro

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    Obviously, they're both terrific events, but does anyone recall the plane last year in Key Biscayne? The plane that made an obnoxious nuisance of itself by endlessly and noisily circling the stadium during the women's and men's finals.
     
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  39. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I wish I had $5000 to spare :\ Or even $2000 would be nice.
     
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  40. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I've decided on Indian wells.

    Anyone know what cheap/safe motels I can stay at? I know Palm Springs Intl is the closest airport, about 30 mins from IW. I could stay there at PS or just take a taxi and stay in IW. Which is recommended?

    edit : I looked at Vagabond Inn in Palm Springs. Gonna get a rental car from airport and drive to IW tennis garden, it's 30 min trip one way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
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  41. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    Miami, Key Biscayne

    Pros: Qualifying matches are not overcrowded. You don't have to watch the quallies, you can go in the stadium as close to the stadium-court as you want and watch the top players practice.

    Cons: No free shuttles and No free buses. If you're getting a hotel in Key Biscayne, it would be several hundred dollars per night. If you want the cheapest, it would be probably the Days Inn /Holiday Inn near Miami Int. Airport. Food is triple & quadruple overpriced. Constant breeze is terrible; in the day, without sun-block you can get cooked alive, and at night, the constant wind makes it feel very cold. For the qualifying, the entry-gates open too late, at 10 or 11 am... instead they should open them earlier so one can walk the grounds and watch the early practice sessions on the courts. Also, watch-out for bees and wasps under the benches.
     
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  42. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    How much are you paying? You might be able to do better, it just depends on what you are looking for. See post #4 in this thread. :)

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=106780
     
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  43. ATXtennisaddict

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    Thanks Fee. Let me check it out.
     
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  44. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    I'm about to order my tickets for the Weekend kickoff package.

    I'm gonna get the Loge seats package for $195. I know the seats are a bit nosebleed, anyone have experience with this? can you see the tennis?

    Also, that's only loge seats if you go inside the stadium to watch stadium matches right? Matches on the outside courts are pretty close-up etc. and kickoff weekend usually has most matches on the outside courts?
     
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  45. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I've been going to IW for quite a while - since before this venue was built. The new Stadium Court is pretty huge and the seats in the upper deck are pretty far up there - but not so high that you can't enjoy the action.

    And yes, the outer courts are only a few hundred seats and if you get there early you can be real close to the action.

    But I still have more fun out at the practice courts. To me it's more interesting to see them work on their games up close.

    I'd use Orbitz to find a hotel - and you can stay in Ontario, Fontana, etc. , not just Riverside, Palm Springs, Indian Wells. Ontario's about 60 miles west of IW but driving east in the AM for the tennis there isn't much traffic. And most people live out there and drive West in the morning going to work. I live a mile from the Pacific and can get there in 2 hrs - 120 miles. From Ontario, driving a little over the limit - but not enough to get a ticket I bet it's 45 minutes.

    Fee, it's a DRY heat! It's 95 but feels like 75. Drink enough water and it's no problem. The dust storms are the bummer.

    I'm thinking about going to Miami - the airfares from LAX are cheap but the hotels are ridiculous - and the info in this thread about the lack of transportation to the event isn't helping.
     
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  46. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    I know it's a dry heat, but it's still a HOT heat. I always wear a hat anyway, but it can still knock down people who aren't prepared for it.

    By the way, you CANNOT get from Ontario to IW in 45 minutes. There is this hill in Yucaipa that slows down traffic because all of the big rigs have to ... blah blah blah. Anyway, it would take me 50 - 60 minutes to get there from Redlands/San Bernardino, so add another 20 minutes for Ontario (if there isn't a stitch of traffic and there almost always is. With the time and price of gas, you are better off just staying at the Red Roof Inn. No one I have ever known wanted to drive more than 20 minutes after a long day in the sun at IW.

    ATX, if you are spending that much on tickets you will have to force yourself to watch main court matches to feel you got your money's worth. I've spent most of my past time there on the outer courts and practice courts so a grounds pass always suited me (and that's why I've still never seen Fed play in person). Someone remember to do a thread in March and we'll see if we can meet up somehow (perhaps TW will have a little 'green room' for us in the back of their shop where we can get free ice).
     
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  47. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Fee, I've done it. In the morning. You can drive 80 and not get pulled over by CHP - they're looking for the people going really fast. Coming home is bad - no way to avoid that without a helicopter.

    I'll be looking for you - the guy with the red face ready to pass out. Might want to mix some cardio in with your TW posting... :)
     
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  48. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    I'm not a guy. And if you can make it from Ontario to the IW tennis garden in 45 minutes, I don't want to be on the same freeway as you. That's just scary.
     
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  49. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Fee, so basically Fed will be playing in the main court? T_T

    Grounds pass eh...hmm....I might go that route. Think I can at least catch ppl like Nalbandian,Hewitt,Safin,Nadal etc. on those outside courts? :-\ Could you tell me more about how much the grounds pass cost, what they allow you to do etc?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
    #49
  50. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    A grounds pass is actually a ticket to the worst level of seats in the main grandstand. It allows you into the general admission section of every outer court (which usually means anywhere but the first two rows) all day and all night long. You are allowed into the main grandstand only for the session you purchased (day session or night session). They cost about $30 each for the first four or so days, goes up a little bit each day after that. You can get a few dollars discount with a USTA card or a student ID or whatever. If you are going for the first Wednesday through Sunday, it is worth it to just get a grounds pass (in my opinion), but you give up the chance to see Federer, Nadal, Roddick, when they play their second round matches (first round byes). You can always watch them practice since IW has just about the most accessible practice courts I've ever seen. And, if they play doubles, they will most likely be on the outer courts, especially on the first few days.
     
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