The US Open.

Arthur Ashe Stadium

Tennis stadium in New York City

40°44′59.6″N 73°50′49.3″W / 40.749889°N 73.847028°W / 40.749889; -73.847028Coordinates: 40°44′59.6″N 73°50′49.3″W / 40.749889°N 73.847028°W / 40.749889; -73.847028 Public transit MTA NYC logo.svg BSicon SUBWAY.svg "7" train"7" express train​ at Mets–Willets Point
MTA NYC logo.svg Port Washington Branch at Mets–Willets Point Owner USTA Capacity 23,771 Surface Laykold Construction Opened 1997 Renovated 2016 Construction cost $ 254 million
($430 million in 2021 dollars) Architect Rossetti Architects Tenants US Open (USTA) (1997–present)

Arthur Ashe Stadium is a tennis stadium at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City. Part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, it is the main stadium of the US Open tennis tournament and has a capacity of 23,771, making it the largest tennis stadium in the world.

The stadium is named after Arthur Ashe (1943–1993), winner of the inaugural 1968 US Open, the first in which professionals could compete. The original stadium design, completed in 1997, had not included a roof. After suffering successive years of event delays from inclement weather, a new lightweight retractable roof was completed in 2016.

History

Seen in 2005

In July 2008, Arthur Ashe Stadium hosted its first professional basketball game played outdoors

Opened in 1997, the facility replaced Louis Armstrong Stadium as the primary venue for the tournament. It cost $254 million to construct, and then had 22,547 seats, 90 luxury suites, five restaurants, and a two-level players’ lounge, making it by far the largest tennis-only venue in the world. Like the other 32 courts in the facility, it has a DecoTurf cushioned acrylic surface.

On August 25, 1997, the stadium opened by hosting the US Open, with Whitney Houston singing “One Moment in Time” during the stadium’s inauguration ceremonies and dedicating the performance to the late Arthur Ashe.

The first official match played on the court was at the 1997 US Open between Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand and Chanda Rubin of the United States. Tanasugarn won in two sets.

The stadium has also hosted the first-ever outdoor regular season WNBA game in 2008; the Indiana Fever beat the host New York Liberty 71–55 on July 19. The game served as a fundraising event for breast cancer research.

The facility features a Hawk-Eye electronic system which allows tennis players to challenge the umpire’s decision on calls made throughout championships. In 2005, the color scheme for the courts was changed from green to electric blue inner courts and a light green outer court. All US Open Series events now use this color scheme, providing television viewers a more easily trackable ball — with the yellow tennis balls contrasting more visibly against the blue courts.

On July 26–28, 2019, the stadium hosted the Fortnite World Cup, a three-day long esports tournament with a prize pool of US$30 million, $3 million of which awarded to the winner of the Finals.

On September 22, 2021, the stadium hosted All Elite Wrestling. Dynamite was filmed live, alongside tapings for Rampage as well as Elevation. The Dynamite and Rampage episodes were titled “Grand Slam” with Rampage expanded to two hours for the special. The event marked AEW’s debut show in New York City and the first professional wrestling show ever held at the tennis complex.

Retractable roof

Arthur Ashe Stadium with retractable roof installed, 2018.

Lacking a roof, where relatively strong and unpredictable winds could occur inside the stadium, events were vulnerable to inclement weather — and five straight years of rain delays occurred during the US Open men’s singles final from 2008 to 2012.

Despite the original design’s lacking provisions for a roof, the USTA announced in 2013 plans to construct a roof for the stadium using a 5,000-short-ton (4,536-tonne) superstructure — having consulted “with every architect involved in the design of a stadium roof in North America.”

Notably, the site of the Ashe center featured poor soil conditions. It had previously been Manhattan’s Corona Ash Dumps (featured prominently in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as the Valley of Ashes) and prior to that a natural wetland swamp. For the new roof, a very light solution was critical.

The roof has two 800-ton fabric panels made of 210,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of lightweight PTFE membrane which can open or close on glides, up to 25 feet per minute, to create an opening roughly the size of 17 Olympic swimming pools. The stadium is not fully conditioned; a new chilled water ventilation system controls humidity when the roof is closed. The new cantilevering design is supported by eight columns that sit on concrete bases, each supported by 20 piles driven 150 to 200 feet deep and has a data acquisition and recording system along with synchronized cameras to interpret the data created by the complex control systems. The roof, which cost $150 million, was part of a $550 million renovation of the National Tennis Center. The retractable roof project was completed in 2016.

The roof was designed by Rossetti Architects and its structure engineered by WSP Global. Geiger Engineers designed the roof’s mechanization system. Engineer of Record for the mechanization system was Hardesty & Hanover in partnership with Morgan Engineering.

See also

References

External links

Media related to Arthur Ashe Stadium at Wikimedia Commons

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Source: Arthur Ashe Stadium
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