Construction of the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) $100 million retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will eventually eliminate fears of rain delays at US Open tournaments beginning in 2016, is on track despite brutal winter weather.
Off-site manufactured steel beams for the roof are being brought to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and placed on top of the stadium using jumbo cranes, which can be seen rising way above Arthur Ashe.
They are using the giant cranes to assemble the roof on top of the existing stadium, because the National Tennis Center’s campus is crowded and difficult to maneuver in. And while workers have had to take the cranes down due to recent snowstorms and strong windy days, the roof should still be completed before the 2016 US Open as planned.
“We have committed ourselves to making sure the roof is in place by 2016 and we are going to keep to that. Obviously winter in New York City is not a new phenomenon,” National Tennis Center COO Daniel Zausner said. “While this winter has been rough just like last winter, we are going to have to make it up in the spring when the weather is hopefully cooperating.”
The roof, which was first announced two years ago, is part of a $550 million expansion of the National Tennis Center, which includes two completely new stadiums, and revitalization of the southern courts, all to be completed by the 2018 US Open.
The roof for Arthur Ashe will continue to see construction through July, when the USTA will stop to prepare for the 2015 US Open. Following the major tournament, construction will resume on the roof and should be completed by August 2016, in time for that year’s US Open.
The USTA also recently started construction on a new Grandstand Stadium, which will have 8,000 seats, and replace the current 6,000-seat court connected to Louis Armstrong Stadium. The new Grandstand Stadium is expected to be completed for the 2016 US Open as well.
All the smaller courts on the south portion of the campus will be also be rebuilt for the 2016 Open.
Finally, following the 2016 US Open the plan is to tear down and build a new 15,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium will begin. That stadium is expected to be ready for the 2018 US Open.