Summer of Changes in Tennis

With the final ball having dropped on the grass at Wimbledon, the tennis world is turning its attention to the U.S. Open. This year, though, fans coming to New York will see something new – the superstructure that will hold the retractable roof that will cover Arthur Ashe Stadium and make play possible in the event of rain.

At the moment, though, it’s just a mess of steel girders.

The cranes and the construction debris will be gone when play gets underway in a few weeks. USTA officials are confident the structure that has already gone up will not interfere with spectators’ enjoyment; in fact, they say, spectators won’t even notice it.

That might be just a bit of an overstatement. These are, after all, ASBA members. And even outside that, the spectators are hardcore tennis aficionados (and many of them have been coming to the grounds for years (and even decades) so it’s likely they’ll notice. And if they don’t, there will be plenty of chatter from every media outlet covering the event. Then we can look forward to even more discussion when the 2016 US Open rolls around – and more still the first time it rains and spectators get a look at it.

Something else they’ll be getting a look at next year is a new 8,000-seat grandstand along with expanded and restructured grounds to increase the capacity for the US Open by about 10,000 to more than 45,000. The year 2018 will see the opening of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium that will seat 14,000.

All this while USTA is still working on its new headquarters in Lake Nona, Florida. Those who want in on the action as subcontractors can learn more here.

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