Even if you’re an avid tennis fan and you’ve been to the US Open before, we can guarantee you’ve never been here before. And we think you’ll love it.
The addition of a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium has received the headlines, and the introduction of a new Grandstand is sure to delight spectators this summer. But don’t sleep on the complete renovation of the south campus and field courts.
Around 85 percent of the entire USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds have been upgraded as part of the strategic transformation, all aimed at improving the fan experience and getting people closer to the action than ever before.
Here’s a look at what you can expect at the 2016 US Open.
With 10 completely renovated field courts, there are more seats to choose from than ever before. With the exception of Courts 4, 5 and 6, which debuted in 2014, every non-stadium court has been rebuilt.
Fans will notice the biggest difference at Court 12, where a new seating structure will increase capacity from 216 to 1,378. Courts 8, 9 and 10 in the southwest corner of the grounds will hold 20 percent more fans following the introduction of raised seating behind the baseline, and almost 600 seats have been added to Courts 13, 14, 15 and 16 by adding baseline bleachers and larger sideline benches. That’s an increase of more than 40 percent. Court 7 – which will expand slightly – and Court 11 will each hold around 1,500 fans each.
In total, that’s an increase of 36 percent more seats on the outside field courts compared to 2015.
The USTA expanded its southern border this year in an effort to reduce congestion and ease fan movement around the grounds. The result is a new alley connecting the new Grandstand to Court 17. In previous years, the walkways between the field courts were between 8 and 10 feet wide. Now, the new alley is 40 feet wide and more than 450 feet long, with Courts 8-10 and 13-16 aligned instead of being staggered. Between more seats and wider paths, access to all of your favorite spots will be simpler than ever.
In addition, by building the new Grandstand and its accompanying food court in the southwest corner of the site, foot traffic will now be spread across the grounds more evenly, making it easier to move in front of Louis Armstrong Stadium, the AmEx Fan Experience, Chase Lounge and the East Gate.
More food options:
Foodies will have more choices for snacks, meals and drinks when they set inside the grounds in 2016. The existing food court will be expanded to include six more booths by Court 17, and there will be eight kiosks and a new mini food village at the new Grandstand stadium in the west section of the site closest to Courts 4, 5 and 6. In addition, a new 36-foot-long oyster bar will anchor the back of Court 7, and the previous food offerings at Courts 10 and 13 will be bigger than in previous years.
Walking from the new Grandstand to Court 17, fans will be able to visit several new vendors and sponsorship activations. Four new booths are being built into the bleachers behind the baseline of each of Courts 8-10 and 13-16, meaning there will be up to 28 retailers and vendors in this space when the tournament gates open on Aug. 29.
There will be twice as many restrooms on the south campus this year following the renovation of Courts 7 and 11. In addition, there will be more water fountains and bottle-filling stations located around the grounds.
US Open Transformation at a Glance
Here's an overview of what fans can expect over the next three years:
- The retractable roof will be operational over Arthur Ashe Stadium, putting an end to rain delays in the US Open's showpiece stadium.
- Fans will be able to watch matches from the newly opened 8,000-seat Grandstand in the southwest corner of the grounds, behind Courts 4, 5 and 6.
- In total, 14 new food and drink stalls will open by Court 12 (six) and the new Grandstand (eight). An oyster bar will open at Court 7.
- A 450-foot long, 40-foot wide pathway will run from Court 17 to the new Grandstand.
- Bleacher seating will be expanded on all field courts and walkways between courts will increase. A raised walkway will connect Courts 8, 9 and 10. Another will connect Courts 13, 14, 15 and 16.
- The old 6,000-seat Grandstand and 10,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium will be demolished at the close of the 2016 US Open and construction will begin on the new, larger 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium.
- A temporary stadium, which will hold between 8,000 and 10,000 fans, will be erected to the side of the current stadium.
- The temporary stadium will be removed and the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, with a retractable roof, will open.