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Shaded Seats at the Indian Wells Open (Stadium 1)

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The Indian Wells Open, officially the BNP Paribas Open, ranks among the most prestigious tennis tournaments outside the Grand Slams. The event is held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, a state-of-the-art facility with multiple courts. This article focuses on the main court, Stadium 1, which is the second-largest tennis stadium in the world, surpassed only by the famous Arthur Ashe Stadium. Given the intense heat in the California desert, tennis enthusiasts should use this guide along with the stadium seating chart to locate the best shaded seats at Indian Wells.

Where are the seats in the shade and sun at Indian Wells Stadium 1?

Generally, the seats in the shade at Stadium 1 are located:

  • In the southwest corner of the stadium
  • Along the west sideline (later in the day)

And the seats in the sun are located:

  • Behind the north baseline
  • Along the east sideline

Matches at the Indian Wells Open begin daily at 11:00 AM, and the sunset time varies significantly over the course of the tournament. This variation is due to the tournament’s scheduling during the transition into daylight saving time. As a result, on the first day of qualifying matches, sunset occurs around 5:45 PM, but by the day of the finals, it isn’t until nearly 7:00 PM. This shift means that seats become shaded earlier in the day before the start of daylight saving time and later in the day after the time change.

Indian Wells Orientation to the Sun

All tennis courts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden are oriented in a north-to-south direction. Before the start of daylight saving time, the sun reaches its highest point in the sky around noon. After daylight saving time begins, this peak shifts to around 1:00 PM. As the afternoon progresses, the sun dips down along the west side of the stadium and eventually sets near the northwest corner.

The graphic below illustrates the approximate location of the sun throughout the day at Stadium 1 on March 15th, after daylight saving time has started.

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Early Afternoon Indian Wells Matches

The stadiums at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden are all completely open-air and exposed to the sun, lacking any roof or canopy covering the stands. Early in the day at Stadium 1, virtually no seats outside of the club suites are shaded. Remember that the sun peaks around noon before daylight saving time starts and around 1:00 PM after it begins. For approximately the hour before and after the sun’s peak, the only shaded seats are in the suites on the 200 and 300-levels. In addition to having indoor space where tennis fans can escape the heat, the actual seats are directly under the cover of the 400-level section above.

As the afternoon progresses, more seats will become shaded. Your best bet for shade is in sections 116-128 in the southwest corner of the stadium, with seats farther from the court receiving shade before those closer to the court.

Shadows on the stands at Indian Wells Tennis Garden

Shaded seats are concentrated on the south and west sides of the stadium. Sections east and north are sunny.
Jimmie48 Photography /

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Late Afternoon Indian Wells Matches

By late afternoon, the range of shaded seating options increases significantly. Shade will cover lower-level seats on the south baseline and west sideline. Sections 116-135 are shielded from the sun later in the day. Seats higher up become shaded at this time too; sections 408-416 and 504-506 are optimal for fans who are seeking to avoid the sun but OK with a cheaper seat.

The sunniest sections are on the north and east. Sections 101-110, 140-148, 401-405, 420-424, 501-503, and 510-512 will be the last to move into the shade. The higher the section, the longer it will remain in the sun before dusk.

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