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Breaking Records at World Class Tennis Venue

Since its grand opening in 2000, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden has been home to the largest combined ATP World Tour (ATP) and WTA (WTA) event in the world.

One of the premier events on the tennis calendar, the BNP Paribas Open offers over $12 million in prize money and a $1-million check is awarded to each singles champion. Much is at stake during the two-week-long international tournament, which is the largest outside of the four majors: Wimbledon and the French, Australian and US Opens. To stay competitive, executives of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden are always in pursuit of the latest tennis technologies—it is the only tournament worldwide to offer the Hawk-Eye line-calling challenge system on every match court. In addition, making continuous improvements in facility amenities, including top-notch restaurants, are among the many creative ways Indian Wells Tennis Garden continues attracting and accommodating ever-increasing crowds.

Setting Standards: Expanded Facilities to Accommodate 500,000 Spectators

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden was the brainchild of former No.1-ranked US player Charlie Pasarell and partner Raymond Moore—who now serves as CEO of the BNP Paribas Open. While the stadium has been acclaimed as one of the foremost tennis facilities in the world, it underwent an $82-million expansion program including a new 8,000-seat stadium, which only enhanced and improved the entire venue.

By offering the best-of-the-best amenities for players, fans, sponsors and the media covering the tournaments, the event’s attendance steadily increased from the first year’s 187,000 spectators to over 380,000 in 2013—with a goal to attract over 500,000 over the following years.

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When big-thinker and Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison—himself a sports legend from his Americas Cup racing pursuits—became new owner of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2009, the current 183,626-sf expansion was born. Featuring first-rate amenities for players, patrons and members alike, the new three-level steel-framed and precast-concrete stadium is also home to three upscale eateries, including the famed high-end sushi restaurant Nobu, the Prime Chop House owned by the Kaiser Restaurant Group, as well as a coffee and ice cream building and immense new shade structures that offer a respite from the desert sun.

Scoring Points:  Experience Counts

With a critical 10.5-month schedule, which must be met in order for the world-class sporting event to take place in March, Garden of Champions LLC chose a team of professionals with first-hand knowledge of the existing facilities and a proven track record.

Further complementing the team led by general contractor Watkins Landmark Construction, which has also completed several other significant projects at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Berg offered not only its experience on the first stadium complex, but ongoing service, remodeling and lighting work.

Serving in a design-assist role in support of electrical engineer Glumac, Berg brought all of this experience to bear on a massive list of preplanning items to prevent unforeseen glitches in the schedule. In a sport where expert installation of lighting is vital for television production, Berg utilized its unparalleled base of knowledge to assure that sports-lighting fixtures were accurately aimed at the action.

Power Hitters: New High-Voltage System to Serve Sitewide

With an international sporting event such as the BNP Paribas Open, media coverage is as critical to sponsorship success as the star players themselves. Bergelectric installed a new site-wide 12KV primary-utility metered distribution system and TV production distribution system as part of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden expansion.  Crews also re-routed 4,000 feet of existing 12KV utility-owned (SCE) feeder to clear the way for construction of the new shade structure. The move made way for a new site-wide, high-voltage, 12KV primary-utility distribution system—including switchgear, transformers and substation, which provide adequate power for both the new and previously existing facilities.

Additionally, Berg provided raceways through which specialized Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) cable is fed, which extend from the new and existing stadiums back to “TV Land”—an area which houses all of the worldwide broadcast trailers and equipment—in order to provide quality, uninterrupted coverage.

Advantage Client: Manpower, Organization and Technology Merge to Ace Schedule

In addition to having the capability to bring vast manpower resources to bear for impending longer work days and shifts, Berg’s in-house experts were also positioned to help ace the project’s delivery.

Many other Bergelectric professionals contributed to keeping the complex project on track—from prefabricating massive quantities of kick-it widgets and utilizing pre-finished power and lighting devices to tapping into the expertise of Berg’s in-house National Technology Systems Group to provide the design-build fire-alarm system. All were instrumental in enabling the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to be ready to break many more records when it hosts events in the future.

18,000 Square Feet
8,000 Spectator Capacity

Electrical Construction Cost
$18.9 Million

February 2013 – July 2014

Delivery Method
Design Assist

Other Team Members
Watkins Landmark Construction
Keisker & Wiggle Architects
Glumac Engineers

Berg Regional Office
San Diego




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