Indian Wells vs Miami Open Tennis Tournament? March Masters Tennis - California vs Florida?

Indian Wells, CA or Miami, FL

The First two ATP Masters 1000 Events of the USA occur just a couple weeks apart. Although these are both offer top tier point for the top tennis pros on the men and women's tour, they are also very polar in many ways. Nearly all of the Top 50 players in the world will attend both events.

West Coast vs East Coast

I have friends on both sides of the fence, some prefer one over the other. If you live on the West Coast of the US and a major tennis fan, then Indian Wells is an ideal spot to check out. If you are on the East Coast and especially in Florida, then the Miami Open is great to experience.

Quick Comparison of the two March Masters:

BNP Paribas Open

"5th Grand Slam"
My Trip & Team Tourney Review
HD Pictures | Discount Tickets

Pros:
  • Excellent Practice Court Views (at eye level)
  • Premium Facilities and Show Court Stadiums
  • Low Humidity, Dry Heat
  • Outdoors: Hiking, Golf, Tennis
  • West Coast

Cons:
  • Expensive Location! Avg Hotels @ ~$200-$350/nt
  • 2 Hours Drive from the nearest major airport (San Diego or LA) not counting PSP
  • Less Nightlife

    Background:
    Indian Wells is a bit more of the rich, active retiree destination - even most of the volunteers are over 55. Quite a different energy level than the younger Spring Break crowd in Miami.

    On the other hand, if you like a more laid back atmosphere with more outdoor scenery, then Southern California is perfect. Joshua Tree and Coachella are both relatively close by. The Living Desert is a small zoo

Miami Open

"South American Slam"
Trip Review and Tips | HD Pictures | Tickets

Pros:
  • Less crowded overall
  • Courts are all close to each other
  • Cheaper Ticket Packages Available
  • Miami Beach Town
  • East Coast

Cons:
  • VERY Humid with chances of heavy, quick thunderstorms (rain delays multiple times in 2019)
  • Parking is very limited or expensive / shuttles far away at the tournament (average 15-20 mins)
  • Note: in 2019 they will move to the new Hard Rock stadium where the Dolphins play* It is a much larger stadium so it is not as easy to see the players from the top deck at either location now.

Background:
There is more of a Latin / South American crowd at the tournament and around Miami. The fans are generally younger than at Indian Wells. The evening atmosphere is the "seen and be seen" South Beach fare. Usually, there are some large music/techno festivals held during this time of the year.

2019 Overview and Summary


Fans Comfort: IW, much more enjoyable and cooler during the day
Overall Trip Cost: MIA, has slightly cheaper options available on the whole

Main Stadium Quality: IW (Miami is too big now, but open and central) / IW has better box seats
Secondary Show Courts: MIA (*more reserved stadiums at IW mean more ticket costs)
Practice Court Views: IW (Miami has lots of mesh fences between fans and players)

Food at Tournament: MIA (lots of cuisine choices, whereas IW has more shops/food off-site plus a few new fancy restaurants on the grounds)
Food outside Tournament: IW (great sushi and seafood; I ran into some pros in 2019)

Souvenirs: MIA - large store with merchandise in the shade with A/C;
Fan Zone Area: Tied; Jumbotron area at MIA more lively, Better lounge chairs at IW
Swag / Freebies: MIA, more fun gifts and booths - lots of things to sample;

IW has a few Instagram locations to take selfies. Tennis-Warehouse free racket demo court but the lines are at least 15-30 mins long for every small group of 4-8*

Daytime activities: IW (if you like hiking, golf, wildlife)
Nightlife activities: MIA (parties, clubs, beaches)

Overall Winner - Indian Wells

Indian Wells: A
Miami: B+

If you've been to one or both of these tournaments, please leave a comment below!