Monday, August 19, 2013

U.S. Open Notebook: Plans to Renovate Flushing Meadows

For five consecutive years, the final grand slam of the tennis season, the US Open, has terminated on the non-traditional Monday due to rain delays. These delays, along with safety issues facing the players if the courts are still wet, has called uproar amongst the players over the past couple years. The USTA has fallen behind the other major grand slam events in terms of updating their facilities. (Australian Open and Wimbledon both have roofs on their main courts.) This past week, the USTA announced their plan for renovating their facilities.

Roof over Arthur Ashe

The headline of their plan is to make a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium.  This announcement has received praised from players on both the Men’s and Women’s side. Caroline Wozniaki stated, “There's been plenty of rain delays before so to have the roof on will be amazing." Talks about a roof have been shut down before due to engineering problems. Arthur Ashe Stadium was built over a swamp, so adding the weight of a roof was a challenging task. A 5,000-ton superstructure will be built around and above the existing stadium. The roof, which will be made of a Teflon-like translucent fabric stretched over a steel frame, will be supported by eight steel columns. The roof will close from two sides, on glides, in five to seven minutes. It will cost more than $100 million, half the price of previously considered plans. This roof will be in play for either the 2016 or 2017 US Open.

Other Renovations

The USTA also plans to renovate Louis Armstrong Stadium which will house 15,000 seats and another retractable roof. This stadium should be ready for play by the 2018 US Open. The first phase of the renovation project includes a new two-story viewing plaza of the practice courts. This new plaza and the replacing of courts 4 and 5 with three new courts should be completed by next year. The Grandstand (My favorite court to watch a match!) will be moved to the Southwest section of the grounds and increase its capacity to 8,000. This is expected to be ready by the 2015 Open, along with wider walkways, a new food court, and expanded amenities.

As one can see, the USTA has big plans for renovating the grounds of the US Open. Everyone is pleased with this announcement and now it is time to wait and see if everything is constructed on time.

In the meantime, the draws for this year’s US Open will be announced this Thursday. Stay tuned for my next post analyzing the draws, picking my sleepers, busts, and overall winners of the US Open!


Michael Proska is a freshman at Drexel University from Springfield, PA pursuing a Sport Management degree along with a minor in Statistics. Along with being a writer for the SMTSU blog, The Sports Complex, he has an internship with Drexel Athletics in the promotions and marketing department. Michael is a member of the Army ROTC at Drexel University.  Michael is the Secretary for the SMTSU.  Follow Michael on Twitter @mikeprosk.

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1 comment:

  1. Should have happened a while ago! Flushing Meadows in August should be called "Flooding" Meadows or "Gushing" Meadows. (sorry)