Tag Archives: Arthur Ashe Stadium

First phase of National Tennis Center expansion complete


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy United States Tennis Association

The United States Tennis Association announced Monday the completion of the first phase of a five-year, $500 million transformation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, just weeks ahead of the 2014 US Open.

The renovations include new elevated seating around Courts 4, 5 and 6 that create a three-court stadium viewing experience for fans.

The elevated seating area will hold more than 1,300 fans, and Court 5 will be the US Open’s seventh television court. It will also feature two video screens and electronic line calling.

The changes to the courts will be followed by other expansions of the National Tennis Center, which include two new stadiums to replace the Louis Armstrong and the Grandstand stadiums, a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and the expansion of the south section of the tennis center campus to accommodate an additional 10,000 fans daily during the Grand Slam.

The entire project is projected to be completed by 2018.

The 2014 US Open begins on Monday, Aug. 25, and concludes on Sept. 8.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

USTA plans to build roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of the United States Tennis Association

Updated Thursday, August 15

Tennis fans may no longer have to suffer when it rains during the U.S. Open.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) officially announced on Thursday that it will construct a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the central court in the Grand Slam tournament, as a part of sweeping $550 million renovation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“We have been working toward a viable design for a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium for more than a decade,” said Dave Haggerty, president and chair of the USTA. “Through a long and arduous process, we feel that we now have a design that meets the criteria of being architecturally sound, aesthetically pleasing, reasonably affordable, and buildable.”

In the past, fans and players expressed concern about a roof at the U.S. Open to put an end to rain interruptions. With the retractable roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, all four Glam Slam tournaments will have at least one covered court or plans to build one.

The renovations will be completed by the 2018 U.S. Open and will also include two new stadiums, a viewing plaza for practice courts and southern relocation of courts. This will allow the tennis center to hold 10,000 more people daily during the Grand Slam. The USTA will pay for the construction through bonds and “revenue generation.”

The roof itself is expected to cost $100 million and should be ready by 2017. The roof is being designed by Rossetti, the architect of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Construction will begin after this year’s U.S. Open in three phases. The first is to shift the existing practice courts and two tournament courts to the north and expand the viewing area near the practice courts. The viewing plaza near the practice courts will allow fans to view players as they warm up and train.

In phase two the new 8,000-seat Grandstand Stadium will be built in the southwest quadrant of the tennis center in time for the 2015 U.S. Open. In the final phase, a new 15,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium will be constructed, “roof-ready,” by 2018 U.S. Open. The USTA also plans to redesign the walkways around the center to make strolling around the area easier for fans.

“We recognize there are many known, and certainly many unknown, hurdles we will have to confront to meet this schedule,” said Gordon Smith, USTA executive director. “We are ready for the challenge and hope we can achieve it.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

Festivities, big names will kick off the US Open


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The USTA has announced a dramatic opening night ceremony that will include an immersive video and light show for the first time, and a special performance by pop sensation Jordin Sparks. The ceremony will take place prior to the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium, on Monday, August 27.

Sparks will perform “Celebrate,” the hit song from the movie “Sparkle,” in which Sparks stars alongside the late Whitney Houston, in Houston’s final performance. Houston opened Arthur Ashe Stadium 15 years ago with a performance of “One Moment in Time” in front of a sold-out crowd and some of the biggest names in tennis history. The video and light show will follow Sparks’ performance, and then Sparks will return to sing the National Anthem.

Sparks is a US Open veteran, having first performed at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day in 2009, and she is returning to host this year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 25.

“Our goal is to take our Opening Night Ceremony to the next level and create a memorable moment for all of our fans in the stadium and those watching around the world,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “It is only fitting that we feature world-class entertainment on the same court upon which we feature world-class tennis. We are thrilled to present our sport in an exciting new way.”

For the 11th consecutive year, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will “Welcome the World to New York” and to the US Open as part of the ceremony. Following Sparks’ performance, Vegosen will be joined on court by young people from the National Junior tennis and Learning Network who represent the future of tennis – the “Sport of Opportunity.”

The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

 

Agassi to join Court of Champions


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The USTA has announced that Andre Agassi, a two-time US Open Champion, has been named the 2012 inductee into the US Open Court of Champions, a US Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the U.S. Championships/US Open.

Agassi will be inducted during an on-court ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the Men’s Singles Championship on Sunday, September 9. Patrick McEnroe will host the ceremony.

The US Open Court of Champions salutes the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with an individual permanent monument that serves as a lasting tribute. Agassi will join prior inductees Arthur Ashe, Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Osborne duPont, Ken Rosewall, Pete Sampras, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. A panel of international print and broadcast journalists selected the 2012 inductee from the roster of U.S. champions based on their performances at the tournament and their impact on the growth of the event.

“Few tennis players have impacted the sport of tennis more than Andre Agassi,” said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “He is a champion both on and off the court, elevating the popularity of our sport while playing, and now helping to enhance the lives of children off the court with his generosity and dedication to providing young people with the opportunity for a quality education. He truly deserves this honor.”

Agassi, the son of a former Olympic boxer, grew up in Las Vegas with a ball machine in his backyard, developing extraordinary hand-eye coordination that has seldom – if ever – been matched in the history of tennis. Turning pro at 16, he quickly established himself as one of tennis’ top talents and a definitive fan favorite.

Bold, brash and bigger-than-life, Agassi won the US Open men’s title in 1994 (the first unseeded player in the Open era to capture the US Open) and again in 1999. His punishing baseline game, unparalleled return-of-serve and superior athleticism allowed him to win a career Grand Slam and a total of eight career Grand Slam titles, as well as a gold medal in singles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He also was a member of two U.S. Davis Cup-winning teams. Agassi competed in a men’s Open-era record 21 consecutive US Opens. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.

Today he focuses a good deal of his time and efforts on the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free public charter school for at-risk youth in Las Vegas.

 

What can you bring to the US Open


| editorial@queenscourier.com


Safety is one of the highest priorities at the US Open. Several important security measures will be implemented, in conjunction with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies:

1. Arrive early to avoid delays and help speed the entry of all spectators.

2. All fans will go through a screening process before passing through the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center entry gates.

3. There will be a limit of one bag per person admitted onto the grounds.

4. All bags are subject to search and cannot be larger than 12″W x 12″H x 16″L.

5. There will be no bag storage on the grounds. For a nominal charge, there is a bag storage facility outside the grounds.

6. Speed lines for those fans without bags will be available at all gates.

7. The following items are prohibited and MAY NOT be brought onto the premises:

• Backpacks

• Hard coolers or like containers

• Sealed packages of any kind

• Bottles or cans (glass or metal)

• Aerosol cans or noisemaking devices

• Alcohol

• Video cameras or recording devices

• Computers or laptops

• Food (except in limited quantities, or for medical, dietary or infant purposes)

• Weapons

• Animals (unless a service animal)

• Flags, banners or signs

• Any materials constituting unauthorized advertising or promotion

• Laser pointing devices

• Tennis racquets

• Any other items deemed inappropriate or dangerous by the US Open personnel, in their sole discretion

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

60,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews fill Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium to denounce evils of the Internet

A mass rally for men only drew more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews to Citi Field Sunday to denounce the Internet and its pervasive impact on family life. An overflow crowd of another 20,000 bearded men sporting long black coats and big black hats filled nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the unprecedented attack on modern technology. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Police Search For Queens Sexual Attacker

Police were searching Sunday for a man they say forcibly touched a 19-year-old woman late Wednesday in Sunnyside, Queens. The victim, who asked NY1 to conceal her identity and alter her voice, says she was walking home when the man pinned her against a fence on the corner of 41st Street and 43rd Avenue. Read more: [NY1]

 

Queens seniors on food stamps up 31% since 2008

Food stamps weren’t something that Bernice and Larry Lisbowtiz of Bayside ever considered until they were well into their golden years. But the octogenarian couple, who once owned a sporting goods store in Brooklyn, said rising food costs and an increase in their co-op maintenance fees had them seeking supplemental income. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Scorned Q69 bus rider torments driver with fliers after he declined her advances

She boarded his bus with purpose, approaching the man behind the wheel, and slipped the note with her name and number into his hand. MTA bus driver Tony Burns thought it was a transit ticket. He unfolded the white paper and saw the handwritten message — and didn’t know what to think. Read more: [New York Post]

 

They’re off! Pols push sports bets

Place your bets here! A Queens lawmaker wants to legalize betting on professional sports in New York — and his proposed legislation has the backing of one of the state’s top prosecutors, Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes, The Post has learned. State Sen. Tony Avella’s bill would allow betting on baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer at the Aqueduct and Yonkers racinos and all casinos across the state, as well as off-track betting parlors outside the city. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Queens principal caught inflating the costs of student uniforms

An embattled Queens principal was caught hiking up the cost of student uniforms, the Daily News has learned. Lakeisha Gordon, principal of the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, was charging students between $5 and $7 more than their gym shirts and polo shirts should have cost. Read more: [New York Daily News]