USTA Unveils $550 Million Makeover of the National Tennis Center
- Aug 20, 2013
One of the world’s most anticipated sports tournaments is right around the corner. The 2013 US Open has reached its 133rd edition and will run on outdoor hard courts from August 26 to September 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens. This year’s Grand Slam event was officially extended by one day because of the poor weather conditions which have caused delays for the past five years.
In an effort to outbalance this shortcoming, USTA announced this week an extensive renovation plan for the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that will also call for a retractable roof over the Arthur Ashe Stadium—US Open’s main stadium and the largest outdoor tennis-only venue in the world.
The historic $550 million transformation will be developed in phases over the next five years, with a start date set for the conclusion of the 2013 event. As revealed in the press statement, the project will be entirely self-financed, through a combination of bonds and USTA revenue generation.
For phase one of the project USTA has retained Hunt Construction Group to create the retractable roof structure over the 22,500-seat arena that was designed and built in 1997 by Rossetti, a Southfield, MI-based architectural design and planning firm. Scheduled for completion in August 2017, the structure will cost in excess of $100 million and will be constructed of flexible, translucent PTFE fabric stretched over a steel frame which will sit on eight steel columns surrounding the stadium. The first phase also includes moving the existing practice courts and two tournament courts to the north to make room for three new tournament courts.
A new 15,000-seat, “roof-ready” Louis Armstrong Stadium will be built during the final phase of the project. Most probably the new venue will be inaugurated just in time for the 2018 US Open. According to the press statement, the new stadium will increase the number of new visitors by 100,000 during the event, which will translate in a multi-million economic boost for Queens and the New York City metropolitan area.
Rendering credits to architecture firm Rossetti