Miami Living Magazine

Amanda Biderman

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ML: What role did you play in getting voter support and the improvements approved? AB: The success of the campaign was a total team effort. I feel fortunate to have a dedicated group people that were willing to do whatever was needed in order for the campaign to be successful. For example, our tournament staff worked a combined 1,728 hours at polling stations during early voting to help inform voters on the importance of the referendum, and each staff member worked at least 12 hours at a polling place on Election Day. ML: Tournament organizers estimated a nearly $50-million-dollar budget needed for this project. How will this budget be raised since Miami’s commissioners will not allow the county’s general fund to be used? AB: The specifics of how the project will be funded still needs to be finalized with Miami Dade County, but as we already put in writing to the Dade County Commission prior to being placed on the ballot, the funding can have no liability to taxpayers. We are proposing that bonds secured solely by tournament revenues (Revenue Secured Bonds) be used. ML: When will tournament improvements begin and for how long? AB: Our goal is to break ground in April following the 2014 tournament. The project will need to be split into several stages in order to ensure that the facility can still service the public throughout the year and the event can run as scheduled. We anticipate that the entire project be completed by 2016. ML: Key Biscayne Village Council members approved the tournament improvements, only after the board stipulated certain conditions. One of them is to prohibit additional sports or any events besides the Sony Open Tennis. However, holding a few extra events a year, such as music concerts, could raise much needed capital for local environmental projects and even initiate much needed tennis programs for children. What are your thoughts on this restriction? AB: The Crandon Park Tennis Center is a public facility that is owned and operated by Miami-Dade County. The tournament does not have any say in how the site is used during non-tournament weeks. However, there are protections already in place in terms of park usage. ML: What excites you most about the future of this tournament and why? AB: I am probably most excited about the Crandon Park Tennis Center upgrades. The improvements will help us stay at the forefront of tennis and greatly improve the guest experience.

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