Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is interested in moving the Miami Open tennis tournament to the team’s stadium complex, and there have been discussions regarding his proposal, a person familiar with the talks said Sunday.
The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because the tournament and the Dolphins have not commented. The person said Ross wouldn’t buy the tournament but would invest in a tennis center on stadium grounds, because he wants to keep the event in South Florida.
The tournament has been held since 1987 on the island of Key Biscayne near downtown Miami. But the event’s future has been in question since a 2015 appeals court decision that prevents upgrades to that complex.
There has been speculation for more than a year that the Miami Open might relocate, with potential sites ranging from South America to China, but tournament officials say they’re staying in Miami.
Three-time champion Venus Williams lives in South Florida and, with her sister Serena, owns a minority share of the Dolphins. Following her third-round victory on Sunday, Williams was asked about Ross’ interest in moving the event to his stadium.
“He loves tennis, I love tennis, so, mmm, let’s keep it in South Florida,” Williams said. “If it works, I would love that.”
Owned by IMG, the tournament annually attracts more than 300,000 spectators.