Instead of paying hundreds to thousands of dollars to watch the greatest tennis players in the world play at the US Open or Wimbledon, you can watch them at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens.
The BNP Paribas Open is the largest professional ATP and WTA combined tennis tournament in the world. It is the best attended tennis tournament outside of the Four Grand Slam tennis tournaments (US Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and Australian Open), with over 400,000 visitors each year.
Big players like Federer, Venus and Serena Williams, and Djokovic regularly attend the big tournament at Indian Wells.
In addition to making sure you bring a hat, your sunglasses, and lots of sunscreen to the match…
Here are Ways to Save Money at the BNP Paribas Open
Save Money on BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Ticket Crusader has a great post on how to buy tickets for the BNP Paribas Open. For us, we bought $100 Stadium One day tickets (Prime Loge) that allowed us general admission to the grounds. Because we found out the line up the next day, we then went to the Box Office to buy more tickets in the hopes of watching Federer play (we knew he was playing the next day, but didn’t know whether it was Day or Evening session). We waited until the lottery was drawn and headed to the Box Office to buy the day tickets. Again we didn’t splurge on tickets and bought $70 tickets (the cheapest ticket available for Stadium One- Loge)
The great thing about Indian Wells is that you’re free to walk around the general grounds (provided you have the general admission) and they have practice sessions so you can go up close to watch them play their practice session. The practice schedule and court designation is readily available on the BNP Paribas app.
You can also watch a lot of the game on the big screen right outside the stadium. There’s a nice grassy area with adirondack chairs where you can watch the players up close. You can also bring a blanket and sit on the grassy area too, make it a picnic. Here’s a site map of the Indian Wells Tennis Grounds.
Bring your Own Food
One of the great things about the BNP Paribas is that you can bring your own food (that way you can avoid having to spend $11 for a small hot dog or $20 for a burger). Head to the local grocery store (Von’s etc.) and grab some pre-made sandwiches ($5 or less) and apples before you head the the tournament.
You’re allowed to bring a backpack, just nothing too big (e.g. like a suitcase), so pack that food in there!
Bring an Empty Water Bottle
They do search your bag before you enter the Tennis Garden, and you are not allowed to bring any unsealed water bottle that is full of water into the grounds. Therefore, either bring something sealed or bring an empty water bottle. There are plenty of water refill stations available. That alone saves you at least $10 buying bottled water (and you’re helping to protect the environment from plastic water bottles). I think I drank at least 2 litres of water on the tennis tournament days and STILL felt a bit dehydrated because of the extreme heat.
BNP Paribas Parking
The parking situation is very organized and an unavoidable $20 a day for parking. For day sessions, you can leave and re-enter without paying more for parking. This is good until 4:30pm.
Skip the Fancy Hotels and Resorts
Sticking to Airbnb or places that have a kitchenette will definitely save you money as you’ll be able to store some foods for breakfast in your mini-refridgerator instead of spending a fortune on breakfast every day. Instead of paying $300+USD a night for a room, we paid $100 USD a night for an Airbnb with a full kitchen.
Skip the Restaurants
Sure it’s nice to splurge but if you really want to save money on your trip to Indian Wells and the BNP Paribas Open, skip the fancy restaurant Nobu (South American and Japanese cuisine which I have yet to try).
Readers, have you been to a professional tennis tournament before? Any tips on how to save money at the BNP Paribas Open that you used?