Delray Beach Open: Meet the Fans

Get to Know the Delray Beach Open from Local Aficionados

Let’s set the scene . . . terrific weather, past and current pro tennis players, entertaining Atlantic Avenue for the party after or even before. It’s the Delray Beach Open. Don’t just take our word for it, trust someone who goes every year.
 
Chris Spencer, of Ocean Ridge, not only loves the Delray Beach Open, he usually spends his birthday at the event. We asked Chris to share what makes this event special to him. Check out the 2017 Delray Beach Open, February 17 – 26.'

Friends do trust friends. See more of what real people have experienced in #ThePalmBeaches.
 


Let’s Meet Our Local Aficionado
Chris Spencer
Ocean Ridge, FL
Chris and family have been attending the Delray Beach Open for last six to seven years.  They have been box holders for at least four years.
 
What makes seeing pro tennis action at the Delray Beach Open such a fantastic thing to do on your birthday?
I have been very lucky in that the Delray Beach Open has fallen on my birthday each year.  With our box seats comes access to the VIP Lounge & Bar, so by the time my birthday rolls around we are usually pretty good friends with everyone up there and it makes for a great birthday celebration.  I get to have my birthday with all my tennis friends which makes it is a great day for me and I hope everyone will join me this year. 

Meet Chris Spencer

What are your favorite memories of the Delray Beach Open?
I’ve really enjoyed meeting some of the professional players.  Because of its size, you can get up close and personal with many of the pros at the Delray Beach Open.  I’ve chatted with Ernst Gulbis on a couple of occasions, I had a little friendly back and forth with Jack Sock and actually had a sandwich while chatting with Max Mirnyi last year.  He is a great guy. 
 
Looks like you bring the whole family, what makes the event friendly for both parents and kids?
It is definitely a family affair for the Spencers.  We bring our daughter, Ella Capri, every year to several of the late afternoon and early evening sessions.  She isn’t a huge tennis fan but it is a really entertaining event so she has a lot of fun.  Her favorite part is watching the Volley Girls perform.  She also always seems to spot one or two of her classmates in and around the stadium.  I really appreciate how all the volunteers working the event go out of their way to make the kids feel special.  The volunteers at the Delray Beach Open are first class and really make it a great event.
 

For first-time goers, any suggestions or tips?
For first-time goers I would start by buying a ticket that gives you access to the VIP lounge if you can swing it.  It always has short lines and if you like a beer or wine with your tennis you can’t beat their two-for-one special.  I would also definitely try a sandwich or salad at the Deli restaurant under the east side of the stadium.  They are always fresh.   I would stop by the Tennis Serving booth and test your skills with the radar gun.  You’ll have a new respect for the pros that can serve it 120 mph.   Finally, I think another event at the Delray Beach Open that not everyone knows about is the ladies luncheon.  I know Patty always gets a group of her friends together every year and they have a great time.  It comes with lunch and a ticket for the afternoon session.

The Delray Beach Tennis Center is a terrific venue, what do think are the coolest things about it?
I think the coolest thing about the Delray Beach Tennis Center is how every seat in the stadium is a great seat.  They really built it in a way that everyone is close to the action and feels a part of the match that is going on.  I also like the overall layout of the venue which allows you to see a lot of matches on the outside courts of some of the best players in the world.  On the first days of the tournament you can see some top action on the outside courts as people are trying to qualify for the main draw and then later in the week you can be sitting on the outside courts with only ten or twenty people and watch great Men’s Doubles action of players that will probably be playing at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open later in the year. 
 
Downtown Delray Beach and Atlantic Avenue are entertaining, happening locales, where do you like to go before and after the event?
We love going to Atlantic Avenue before and after the tennis matches.  We like to stop by El Camino or Cubana for margaritas before walking over to the night sessions.  Our favorite dinner spots after the tennis are Park Tavern, Tramonties and Cut 432.   Having all the great restaurants within walking distance from the Delray Beach Tennis Center makes the event that much better!

More to Know:
Like we said, Delray Beach is a cool place to spend a vacation. From what’s happening day or night on Atlantic Avenue to restoring your Zen at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens to taking a swim in the ocean. Come for the Delray Beach Open and experience an unexpected getaway
 

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