Fans of the game agree, the PNB Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens is a Top 10 must-see in the world of pro tennis tournaments. Some would argue that, due to its size, accessibility to players, world class play and reliable weather, it may even have some Grand Slam events beat. Here are a few reason's it's become the fifth largest tournament in the world, drawing top talent and record attendance from around the world.
The Weather: Reliably sunny
Typically in the mild, mid-80's, the sun is a key enjoyment factor to this tourney. However, the mercury has been known to hit high-90 in the stands and over 100 on the courts. Unless you have a high threshold for incendiary weather conditions, managing sun exposure is worth taking time to consider.
The Setting: Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Every year money is spent on upgrading the facilities for fans and players alike. The volunteers are gracious and helpful. The grounds are impeccable. Restaurants and kiosks are crowded, so don't wait until you're famished or dehydrated before you decide to queue-up.
Pro tip: Don't bother fighting traffic to pay $20 for a parking spot. Uber or Lyft for as little as $8 - $10 each way. Find out where the drop zone is located before you go, in case this is your driver's first rodeo.
Barring injuries, all the big-name players are there; from Serena to Federer. Fan-accessible practice courts make seeing the players up-close a heady experience.
Pro tip: Check the players practice schedule on one of the 20 perimeter practice courts. You can literally reach out and touch pro players that, under normal tournament conditions, you wouldn't get near without a badge and security pass.
The Price: Grounds passes run around $50 and get you access to great, non-reserved seating in courts 2 - 9. Stadium tickets run from $135 to $500 per ticket.
Pro tip: Get grounds passes each day. Arrive when the gates open at 10. Find a seat on court 3 thru 9 for the morning line-up. Break for lunch under the shade or leave the gardens all together for a mid-day swim and siesta (hotel or VRBO accomodations with a pool is de riguer). Treat yourself to reserved seats in the evening and return for a night match on Court 1 under the stars. You'll see a main-event match-up for a fraction of what you'd pay at any of the majors.