Based on preliminary voting results, a large percentage of Miami-Dade voters have approved Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park’s $50 million renovations to tennis facilities. In fact, 72.59 percent are in favor of the multi-million dollar renovations for the annual Sony Open.
In order to protect public lands under Miami-Dade County’s “Save Our Parks” amendment a public vote was required, so two-thirds of the public were needed to approve the new expansion to the tennis park based on a ballot question, which would also extend the annual Sony Open’s contract for another 30 years with two optional 10-year extensions.
Major opposition from Bruce Matheson was evident based on the plan to expedite the multimillion dollar renovation with event proceeds and private funding. Back in 1940, Matheson’s family had donated the land. Matheson is also sits on a special committee that requires all changes in the park to be approved.
As far as IMG’s plans and the “sweetheart” deal, Matheson argued the referendum, because the Crandon Park Master Plan’s restrictions would not be met and would lead to lost revenues.
Recently, a total of 20,000 absentee ballots still needed to be counted but majority support still lead the way for the referendum.
According to IMG, this two-week long event generates $386 million and more than 300,000 spectators every year, along with superstars in tennis to Key Biscayne.
Among the renovations that will take place based on IMG’s plans additional multi-stories to bar facilities and house dining, offices, three new grandstands, a pro shop, expansion of the Stadium Court, lake cottage for media interviews, covered pavilions, a grass lawn and so much more.