USTA reveals plan for roof
Originally published on: 16/08/13 00:00
The United States Tennis Association revealed a $550 million transformation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that also includes the construction of two new stadiums and is scheduled to be completed by the 2018 US Open.
Bad weather at Flushing Meadows has seen the US Open men’s final postponed to Monday for the last five years, prompting calls for a retractable roof for the main court, which holds 22,500 spectators.
“We have been working toward a viable design for a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium for more than a decade,” USTA President Dave Haggerty said at a press conference on Thursday. “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.”
Work is expected to start later this year with the Louis Armstrong and Grandstand stadiums to be rebuilt, with increased capacity, while Louis Armstrong Stadium will also to be constructed with a roof.
Three new courts plus practice courts with public viewing access will also be constructed as part of the transformation of the site, which will increase capacity by 10,000 to 50,000 people.
Andy Murray, who had to wait until the third Monday to capture his maiden Grand Slam in New York last year, welcomed the news, although he admitted adapting to the changed conditions can prove a challenge.
"For certain reasons it's great," Murray said. "For TV and stuff, it's fantastic. It's always good that you know matches are going to get finished. I don't necessarily miss being rained off but rain delays and stuff, it used to be part of it; whereas now that's kind of going away gradually.
"I don't particularly like going from indoors to outdoors to indoors but it's good for TV."