Tag Archives: Grandstand 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.



Howard Beach students play with US Open champs

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Dominick Totino

Sandy-affected Howard Beach students felt the love during a tennis clinic with US Open champions.

Twelve students from P.S. 207 went to Grandstand Stadium last week, where they participated in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) “Returning the Love” initiative.

Through the program, organized by New York Cares, the tennis tykes, ages five through nine, were able to play with stars like Andy Murray and meet Serena Williams.

“The kids were in awe that these major, major stars were taking the time to be with them,” said Stefanie Hanley, third grade teacher who accompanied the students. “They went through a lot during [Sandy].”

“They need to get back to smiling and get back to being kids again instead of worrying every time it rains.

They hear thunder and they get nervous,” she added.

P.S. 207, severely damaged by the storm, was closed for two months. During that time, students traveled to P.S. 232 in Lindenwood to go to school.

P.S. 232, which Hanley said is “already overcrowded,” doubled up on class sizes and averaged about 50 students per class while P.S. 207 was closed for repairs. Also, teachers’ supplies were “stuck” in the damaged building, and they were prohibited from getting them due to a hazardous oil smell throughout the site.

After reopening January 1, teachers and students have been trying to return to a sense of normalcy.

“It’s unbelievable that it’s almost a year now and they’re still going through this,” Hanley said. “[The students] have been through a lot.”

However, the tennis clinics put the smiles back on the students’ faces. They played doubles with reigning male champion Andy Murray and also hit the courts with Ana Ivanovic and Stanislas Wawrinka.

NBC’s “The Today Show” filmed a segment that same day, and the kids were able to watch a doubles match – Matt Lauer and Serena Williams versus Savannah Guthrie and Andy Murray.

“All of them want to play tennis now. They’re asking if we can have it in school,” Hanley said.

Hanley said that in her nine years as a teacher at P.S. 207, they have never been invited to “anything like this.”

“So many nice things have happened to these kids because of [Sandy] that really the good is outweighing the bad,” she said. “I think they’re ready to put everything behind them and start all over and really put their best foot forward.”