As the countdown to the new year continues, the BNP Paribas Open is highlighting changes ahead of the 2023 tournament.
Including a more local touch when it comes to food vendors and merchandising.
The tournament is expanding on what they’re calling a new era of tennis paradise, including a number of upgraded events, amenities, and partners.
I spoke with a member of one local restaurant that’s making a return to next year’s tournament, on what this means to them.
“It meant well to us because we’ve been welcoming tennis players as well as tennis crowds, tennis spectators here at Mamma Gina, at the main restaurant on El Paseo for 30 some years.” says Alex Huber, the general manager at Ristorante Mamma Gina.
Ristorante Mamma Gina, a Palm Desert restaurant, is returning to the BNP Paribas Open in 2023.
Last year, they were featured as a vendor inside of Stadium 1, but have since been relocated to the newest stadium at the tournament, Stadium 2.
“Approached about two weeks before the beginning of the tournament to help them out because Wolfgang Puck’s Spago had pulled out of their spot, that’s stadium one overlooking the court and we were able to put a crew together and make this successful two weeks.” Huber says about last year’s tournament.
Huber says being a part of last year’s tournament was very memorable, not only because it was their first time as vendors, but because of the exposure it gained for the local spot.
“It was awesome, because a lot of people go to the tournament. You know, 20, 25, 30,000 people every day. A lot of those have never heard of us, never been to our location. So that was an introduction that a lot of people got.”
As far as plans for the restaurant at next year’s tournament, “It appears that we are going to be there again, this time at Stadium 2 in an outdoor location… But it appears like we’re going to be serving people there again.” Huber says about the restaurant returning to next year’s tournament.
“For us to be able to be represented there as one of the local restaurants, you know, that has been in the valley for a long time. It meant a lot.”
Ristorante Mamma Gina is just one of the several local businesses participating in next year’s event.
Next week we will talk more with other local businesses featured at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open.