Tag Archives: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

US Open to host first-ever free day for fans

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino

Updated 5:22 p.m. 

The cover charge for one day at the U.S. Open will be love — or, in other words, free.

NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, announced Tuesday that the 2015 U.S. Open — which will take place from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 – will hold a free day for fans on Sept. 10.

During this day, tennis enthusiasts will be able to enter the grounds free of charge and watch the best doubles teams — men’s, women’s and mixed — play on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. During the day, there will be no games played in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Fans are then invited to stay and watch that evening’s women’s singles semifinals on the video screens throughout the grounds. A purchased ticket is needed to get into Arthur Ashe Stadium for the women’s semifinals.

“The U.S. Open is one of the most exciting times to be in New York City, where people come to the Big Apple to see the best tennis players in the world compete at one of the world’s greatest venues, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing,” said Marty Markowitz, vice president of borough engagement and promotion at NYC & Company. “While in Queens, we encourage all U.S. Open guests to experience the wonders of New York’s largest borough, which has so many diverse neighborhoods offering authentic cuisines and cultural attractions that send visitors on a journey around the world without ever leaving the borough.”

The 2015 U.S. Open will begin on Aug. 31 with a performance by multiplatinum-selling artist Josh Groban and appearance by tennis legend Billie Jean King, who will be on the court to welcome fans to the opening night along with USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams.

The opening ceremony will be shown live on ESPN2 as part of the network’s tournament coverage.

The announcement of the free day was joined by NYC & Company’s highlights of “must-see activities and destinations to explore throughout Queens during the 2015 U.S. Open.”

Some highlights include crossing Roosevelt Avenue and catching a New York Mets game at Citi Field, surfing at Rockaway Beach, visiting Queens’ largest Park Flushing Meadows Corona Park — where guests can enjoy the New York Hall of Science, Queens Zoo and Queens Museum —and also heading down to Long Island City and enjoying cultural centers like MoMA PS1 and the Museum of the Moving Image.

“We urge visitors to see and experience for yourselves just why Queens has been named the country’s top tourist destination,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “When you’re not watching the exciting action at the Open, we urge you to take advantage of the unparalleled array of culinary, cultural and shopping attractions that befit the ‘World’s Borough.'”

NYC & Company also highlighted the variety of hotel offerings in the borough which include locations in Flushing and Long Island City such as the Z New York Hotel, Wyndham Garden Long Island City and The Parc Hotel.

For more information visit nycgo.com/queens or nycgo.com.


Josh Groban to perform at US Open opening night ceremony

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of USTA

The U.S. Open’s opening night ceremony in Queens will once again feature a chart-topping singer, and the National Tennis Center’s namesake will also make a special appearance.

Multiplatinum-selling artist Josh Groban is scheduled to perform at the Monday, Aug. 31, event that kicks off the annual tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced Thursday. Groban, who just released his seventh studio album, “Stages,” this April, broke into the music scene in the early 2000s and has sold millions of records worldwide.

Joining him at the ceremony will be tennis legend Billie Jean King, who will be on the court to welcome fans to the opening night along with USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams.

King won her first U.S. Open singles championship in 1967, going on to clinch three more titles. The USTA Tennis Center was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006.

This year’s U.S. Open will take place from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 at the tennis center. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

The opening ceremony will be shown live on ESPN 2 as part of the network’s coverage of the tournament.


First lady Michelle Obama to attend Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of White House Press

Michelle Obama will make a grand slam appearance in Queens.

The first lady is attending the 18th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, August 24, to give a speech to encourage youngsters to get healthy and active as a part of her Let’s Move! campaign.

“We are thrilled the First Lady will be joining us at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the largest single-day, grass-roots tennis and entertainment event in the world,” said USTA Chair Dave Haggerty. “Her message of leading a healthy lifestyle is the perfect fit for this action-packed program that celebrates the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe.”

World No. 1 and reigning US Open women’s champion Serena Williams will introduce Obama, who will be joined by a star-studded list of performers and tennis royalty.

The all-star lineup includes UK band Lawson, Swedish DJ duo Cazzette, Coco Jones, Ariana Grande, and Austin Mahone. Players on stage will be world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer. The event, which kicks off the start of the US Open on August 26, looks to be a family-friendly event before the nation’s most prestigious tennis tournament begins.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day schedule:

9:30 am
Grounds festival opens at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Free interactive games and family activities

9:30 am – 4 pm
Watch the pros practice (Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17)

10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Hess Express Stage – free concert featuring CityKids, Lucki Gurlz, Kenton Duty, Trevor Jackson, Megan Nicole and Before You Exit.

12:00 pm
Gates Open to Arthur Ashe Stadium

1:00 pm
Stadium Show Begins – Great seats for $10 & $20

3:00 pm
Stadium Show Concludes




Battle for your boro on the court

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of USTA Eastern

Grab your racket and volley up some borough pride.

The inaugural Battle of the Boroughs Tennis Challenge is coming to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on May 11.

Hosted by USTA Eastern, the new tournament calls for tennis aces to represent their boroughs and be the last team standing in the citywide competition at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on June 15.

Teams can register for a slot at eastern.usta.com/boroughs for $20 per player. There can be up to 10 members on a team. Each player must be at least 19 years old.

Proceeds will benefit City Parks Foundation, which gives free tennis lessons to children at 40 parks citywide.

The winning team will receive a trophy, but all participants will be given t-shirts, snacks and two free rounds of tennis.



Op-Ed: In need of community support

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however makes a life.” Those profound words from the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe, which are enshrined at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, serve as a daily inspiration to us as we continue to strive to build better lives for youth in Queens through the sport of tennis.

During hundreds of annual community programs at the NTC, we host more than 100,000 participants of all ages, many of whom are from Queens. In addition, through our partnership with the New York Junior Tennis League, which was co-founded by Ashe, we have been changing the lives of children in Queens, providing them with the required tools to excel both on and off the court. The program reaches thousands of local youth annually, providing 70 public schools in Queens with free tennis equipment and direct mentoring/training opportunities for 15,000 students, as well as after-school programs.

The USTA also provides more than 5,000 free tickets to Queens-based community groups for Arthur Ashe Kids Day, which serves as the official kickoff event for the US Open Tennis Championships.

Indeed, the USTA is an active and vital member of the local Queens community, striving to develop the character of kids through tennis and education.

For nearly a century, the US Open has been held in Queens, and since 1978, it has taken place in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The US Open and NTC – whose indoor and outdoor tennis courts are open to the public 11 months of the year – have transformed the New York City sports scene, pumping nearly $750 million a year into the local economy and showcasing to the world that Queens is the center of it all.

However, despite this success, the NTC and US Open are now at a crossroads. A facility upgrade is vital to sustain the long-term viability of the NTC as both a world class spectator venue and top public recreational facility. To this end, we have developed a plan that is mutually beneficial to the people of Queens, the US Open and the NTC.

As we visualized the scope of the plan, we understood and respected the importance of preserving the park, and as a result, our design calls for the minimal amount of additional parkland possible, just 0.68 acres, to complete the needed upgrade to the facilities at the NTC.

The sliver of land in question is mostly an existing asphalt road and the city has determined that no replacement land is required. In lieu of replacing the land, additional park improvements will be made.

It should also be noted that all of the upgrades will be financed solely by the USTA without government financial assistance.

However, this Queens jewel needs public support to move forward, as it obtains the various approvals and land use permits required for these improvements in order to complete this project.

Not only will this plan preserve the NTC’s stature as a top public recreational facility and internationally renowned spectator venue but it will help us continue our tradition of bettering the lives of youth and the community as a whole.

Daniel Zausner is chief operating officer of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.