Duran Duran faces a new foe in its bid to play Key Biscayne: the government of Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade’s Parks department this week sent a warning to the Miami Open tennis tournament that its planned concert with the 1980s new-wave group violated strict event rules governing Crandon Park.
Crandon plays host to the for-profit tournament each year, and the 2016 program includes a nighttime Duran Duran concert to be held after Friday matches conclude. On Wednesday, Miami-Dade said the planned add-on to the tennis program isn’t allowed under Crandon rules limiting commercial activities at the park to the yearly tennis showcase. Those rules are already the subject of a tournament lawsuit against the county.
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“The County has been made aware that your firm, International Players Championship (IPC) intends to host a concert on April 1, 2016, featuring Duran Duran,” Parks chief Jack Kardys wrote. “Accordingly, as it is currently envisioned, IPC may not use the Crandon Park Tennis Center for the Duran Duran concert.”
The letter follows a similar protest by Key Biscayne against the concert, extending a long-running local fight involving the tournament.
IMG, which owns the tournament, won voter backing in 2012 for a planned $50 million, privately funded expansion of the county-owned tennis facility to boost tournament profits and keep prize money competitive enough to attract top stars. The expansion is stalled by a committee that holds veto power over changes to Crandon’s growth plan.
The Matheson family, which used to own the Crandon land, sued to block construction of the tennis stadium in the 1980s. Miami-Dade settled that litigation by creating a four-person Crandon committee and giving a non-profit picked by the family two of the seats.
Three votes would needed to approve the stadium expansion. IMG so far has failed in efforts to overturn the regulations, which also helped complicate Donald Trump’s failed efforts in 2015 to secure a management deal of Crandon’s golf course.
Tickets are already on sale for the Duran Duran show, with the cheapest seats going for $60. In a previous statement, Miami Open director Adam Barrett called the concert “part of the tournament experience” and noted Hall and Oates and Blood, Sweat and Tears played in past years.
The county’s issue appears to be the Miami Open offering Duran Duran as a stand-alone event, with a separate ticket required for attendance. Kardys’s letter draws that distinction, calling the concert “a separately ticketed event” that “may attract patrons who did not hold tickets to the day’s tennis matches.”
Kardys also seemed to suggest at least the possibility of a workaround, writing that the Duran Duran concert “as it is currently envisioned” violates Crandon rules.
“As you are aware, the County is committed to the success of the Miami Open,” Kardys wrote, “and we welcome the opportunity to work with you to resolve this issue....”