Every year the US Open strives to deliver something new and exciting, enhancing the tournament experience for players and fans alike – and in 2014 that begins with the first step in the US Open’s historic five-year strategic transformation.
In the first phase of a transformation, new elevated seating has been constructed around the practice courts and tournament courts 4, 5, and 6, creating a unique three-court stadium viewing experience for fans. For the first time, fans will be able to watch competitive action on three tournament courts simultaneously and will have enhanced, unobstructed views of the player practice courts.
The elevated viewing area will hold more than 1,300 fans, with fan amenities available on the ground level. Additionally, Court 5 now will be the US Open’s seventh television court, featuring two video screens and electronic line calling.
Fans who want to take a glimpse at the future of the US Open can visit a new gallery space – the US Open of Tomorrow. The gallery will have models and video displays highlighting all the changes to come between now and the planned completion of the transformation in 2018.
Other new offerings at the 2014 US Open include the addition of the American Collegiate Invitational held during the second week of the tournament. The invitational will feature eight of the top American men and eight elite American women collegiate players in an event taking place on the new tournament courts from Thursday, Sept. 4, through Saturday, Sept. 6.
In order to provide a showcase for the world’s finest on the junior stage, the boys’ and girls’ singles finals will be held on Court 17 this year in order to increase the visibility and fan accessibility to these events. Both finals will take place on Sunday, Sept. 7. Also, the USTA will make additional grounds passes available for that Sunday, and all those attending the junior singles finals will be invited to stay and watch the women’s singles final on the video boards in Court 17.
Kicking off the excitement this year will be the Opening Night Ceremony, with Fitz and The Tantrums headlining the show. Following the band’s performance, 3 Winans Brothers, the Grammy Award-winning brothers Bebe, Marvin and Carvin, will take to the court to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” And in a new tradition at the US Open, all performances will be surrounded by an immersive video and lighting spectacle, with dynamic projections of great US Open moments and tennis graphics on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Other notable events and fan favorites at the 2014 US Open include:
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess: The 19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess will be held on the grounds and in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 23. The event features a free morning grounds festival and a ticketed stadium show featuring a host of popular performers including Hunter Hayes, MKTO, McClain and The Vamps. Tennis greats Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Novak Djokovic also will be part of the stadium show. The 90-minute show will be taped by CBS Sports and airs on Sunday, Aug. 24, at noon ET.
US Open Qualifying Tournament: The US Open Qualifying tournament will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and conclude on Friday, Aug. 22. The tournament, which offers more than $1.5 million in prize money, is free to the public and will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network over all four days of the tournament.
US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships: The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships will take place from Thursday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Sept. 7. The tournament traditionally attracts the top male and female wheelchair competitors from around the world.
Champions Invitational: Sixteen former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists will compete in the US Open Champions Invitational during the second week of the tournament. The Invitational will be comprised of four men’s doubles and four women’s doubles teams. Fan favorites scheduled to play include John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport and Tracy Austin, among others.
Second Thursday Exhibition: Prior to men’s singles quarterfinal action in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 4, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander and James Blake will square off in a fun exhibition.
A Taste of the Open: Celebrity chefs David Burke, Masaharu Morimoto, Tony Mantuano, and Richard Sandoval will create signature offerings not found at any other sporting event in the world.
US Open American Express Fan Experience: New this year to the US Open American Express Fan Experience is the MyOpen wristband, a digitally connected wristband that lets fans capture all of their activities within the Fan Experience, as well as a Rally Cam that takes a 180-degree photo in front of a US Open-themed background. In addition, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum returns to the US Open American Express Fan Experience for the third year with a new exhibit, “Tennis Evolves: Racquets and Fashion.”
US Open Live Predictive Challenge: This predictive challenge game is a first of its kind for tennis. During each match, fans can predict match action and test their skills against others. Since this game takes place in real time, fans get to predict what will take place next in a match, move-by-move.. US Open Live Predictive Challenge will be available on the official US Open mobile and tablet apps.
US Open Social Media Walls 2.0: After last year’s success of tennis’ first-ever social media wall, the US Open will now house three separate, themed social walls for fan engagement and interaction..
“Story of the Open” Billboard: The US Open has commissioned artist Josh Cochran who will, over the course of the tournament, complete a mural on a billboard overlooking New York City’s Midtown Tunnel that will commemorate the story of the 2014 US Open based on trending topics and social mentions aggregated through #StoryofTheOpen.
Military Appreciation Day: The US Open will honor members of the military on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 1). Military Appreciation Day will be anchored by a tribute to Navy Lt. Joe Hunt, the winner of the 1943 U.S. Championships.
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Laila Ali will lead a kids’ tennis clinic on Monday, Sept. 1 to launch the USTA’s national efforts to get young people active during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. In conjunction, the USTA will support more than 1,000 Play Days at tennis facilities across the country during the month of September.
US Open Green Initiative: Recognized as one of the leaders and innovators in greening sports events, the US Open will extend its Green Initiative and expects that more than 400 tons of waste will be diverted from landfills through recycling and composting efforts this year.
US Open Court of Champions: The US Open Court of Champions celebrates the legacy of the greatest singles champions in the history of the US Open and U.S. Championships. This year, Tony Trabert, a two-time winner of the men’s title at the U.S. Championships and the longtime voice of the US Open on CBS Sports, will be inducted into the Court of Champions prior to the men’s singles final, on Monday, Sept. 8.