There’s always extra excitement out in Queens in August as the tennis world turns its attention to Flushing for the U.S. Open. Now players and fans will finally have much-needed improvements, like the addition of small courts, more seats to watch practice, and a flexible roof that covers Arthur Ashe Stadium. The big attraction though is a new Armstrong Stadium that comes with a retractable roof and modern construction, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I’ve been asking for 30, 40 years, ‘Please, make an indoor stadium at the U.S. Open,’” John McEnroe said “And not only do we have one, but we have two now. So they deserve a round of applause.”
The popular sporting event will now have a new stadium capable of hosting 14,069 people who will also be shaded and protected from the sun because of the roof design. The stadium was also designed in such a way to make sure that there would be open airflow of natural air at all times and that the sunlight would be managed properly, and of course the obvious benefit of the dome is that matches don’t have to be delayed or cancelled at the discretion of random weather.
“We weren’t allowed to use air conditioning here,” Daniel Zausner, the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief operating officer, said.
The Rossetti architecture firm is responsible for the innovations and has a long history with the tournament dating back decades, so the pairing was a natural one and seems to be paying off as fans and players get their first tastes of the improvements as the tournament just got underway.
“We had to be open to be naturally ventilated,” David Richards of Rossetti said. “The question was, how to we get the air in, but how do we keep most of the water out?”
The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center overhaul started back in 2011, and it is now complete with the inclusion of this grand stadium, and the projects cost the USTA hundreds of millions of dollars. The roof can be closed in under six minutes, making it very practical to adjust to bad weather and continue playing without a hitch. The Wall Street Journal said Rossetti talked about how the roof is 124 feet high and can still be operated in pretty bad weather conditions.
The Wall Street Journal explained some concerns of fans at first with how “during construction, there was some fear among fans that the opening of the new Armstrong would mean that no single ticket could get fans into both of the two largest stadiums, as is the case at the other Slams. The USTA instead divided the seats into two parts. The lower section is reserved seating, but 7,000 seats above that are for general admission.”
While Arthur Ashe has been synonymous with big matches for some time now, Armstrong will wind up hosting more matches during this tournament, and both will have the chance to feature magical night matches.
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By: John Crain