IMG: Miami risks losing Miami Open in bills dispute
IMG, the international sports and entertainment company, has warned that a dispute over bills owed to Miami-Dade County threatens to stymie a plan for tennis’ Miami Open, owned by IMG, to move from Key Biscayne, its home for 30 years, to the multi-purpose Hard Rock Stadium in 2019.
The planned move comes after a bid to expand the Key Biscayne site was blocked by heirs to the family that own it.
However, in the dispute over bills, Wendy Elkins, vice president of IMG, told CBS Miami: “We are at grave risk of not staying in Miami.”
Carlos Gimenez, the city’s mayor, has proposed settling the dispute, over what IMG owes the county for previous years’ services, via arbitration, but IMG is reported to have rejected that option.
The project at Hard Rock would involve a $53-million investment for 24 courts in the surrounding area and a centre court in the stadium.
The annual tournament occupies top-tier places on both the men's ATP and women's WTA tours.