The US Open is set to open main-draw play tomorrow, and visitors will get a first look at the improvements which are part of a roll-out list of renovations, a $500 million bid to make the US Open not just competitive with its companion Majors, Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but, ideally, the best of them.
The schedule is for a five-year transformation of the US Open grounds. In the first phase, which are new this year, elevated seating has been constructed around the practice courts and tournament courts 4, 5, and 6, allowing fans to watch matches on the courts, as well as view the practice courts. In the past, viewing of the practice sessions was from one end only, and once it became 3 fans deep, there was essentially no view. It was casual and haphazard, at best. Now, there is seating for 1,300 fans to watch their favorites practice from close-quarters.
Also new this year, Court 5 now will be the US Open’s seventh television court, featuring two video screens and has added Hawkeye.
Eventually, the renovation will include two new stadiums replacing the current Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand . The Grandstand will be relocated from the northeast to the southwest corner of the grounds , and a retractable roof will be added on Arthur Ashe Stadium by 2018. Court 17, the Center’s newest show court, debuted in 2011.
Photo credit: Kiu