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At Indian Wells, tennis and luxury find love on and off the court

Courtesy of BNP Paribas Open
Roger Federer

As if there aren’t enough reasons to play hooky and road trip to the annual BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden (now to March 19), billionaire owner Larry Ellison has added a few more temptations.

The tastiest: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has opened a Spago in Stadium 1 with seats overlooking the court. So now you have the chance to see Joker, in beast mode, rip his shirt off while dining on chilled Maine lobster salad. Or watch Nadal run himself ragged while ingesting the Chinois lamb chops.

The 100-seat restaurant will give “fans an unprecedented view of the second-largest tennis stadium in the world combined with a first-class dining experience,” Indian Wells staff boasts.

The celebrity chef himself showed up for the grand opening earlier this week.

Spago is among 20 new concessions this year, including B.S. Taqueria from 2015 Esquire Chef of the Year Ray Garcia and Dave’s Doghouse by two-star Michelin Chef Josiah Citrin. Multiple new margarita bars have also been added to the Tennis Garden’s picturesque grounds, along with a Lavazza coffee bar.

The tournament finals aren’t until March 19 so there is still time to head out for some sunshine, celebrity sightings and, as always, mind-bending tennis by the best players in the world. The tennis gods, by the way, are competing this year for more than $14 million in prize money.

If you make it, you will find that Stadium Plaza, a fav fan gathering spot outside Stadium 1, has also been revamped with a super-sized Superwall that now displays up to five matches. And inside Stadium 1, those lucky enough to have already secured a suite, or at least a seat inside a suite, will find that they have gotten makeovers, with private restrooms added.

“The full-scale changes are sure to delight fans who attend over the fortnight to watch the best WTA and ATP World Tour players in the world,” BNP touts.

So see you in the desert. And don’t forget to wear your Rolex so you can go twinseys with the Swiss Maestro.

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