US Open set to open second roofed stadium

by

May 19, 2018
Construction crews work on the Louis Armstrong Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Thursday, May 17, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP):

The Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open is about to be replaced by a better-than-ever number two. The newly refurbished Louis Armstrong Stadium hosted two decades of championship tennis, memorable matches on the court that often hid its inadequacies off it.

Rain would send spectators scattering, fleeing to crowded concourses and towards cramped restrooms.

Not anymore.

When the new Armstrong opens for play in August at the US Open's 50th anniversary, complete for the first time with both a day and night session, the US Tennis Association (USTA) believes its second stadium will be second to none.

Topped by a retractable roof, it's the final stage of a five-year US$600-million (J$76-billion project that remade the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, all without ever interfering with the tournament.

And as USTA officials showed off the progress of the stadium Thursday under rainy skies that were forecast to last into the weekend, it was comforting to know they now had two places where they could keep the action going if faced with the same weather in late summer.

WEATHERCONDITIONS

"Now with two stadiums with roofs, you know that if you've got a ticket to the US Open, you're going to see tennis regardless of the weather conditions," USTA President Katrina Adams said.

The roof over the main Arthur Ashe Stadium has been operational since 2016, the middle of a transformation that included a new Grandstand stadium and additional seats on outer courts.

Work began on the new Armstrong following that tournament. A temporary 8,500-seat Armstrong was constructed for last year's event while work continued on the new US$200-million (J$25-million) Armstrong that will seat 14,000 and stands about 95 percent completed.

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