Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium in New York will finally receive retractable roofs. Officials are aiming for 2016, but more than likely they will work in 2017. The US Open is the last of the Grand Slams and the only one in America. Rain delays have been a problem, which have led to five consecutive Monday finishes:
“We want this to be known as an outdoor tournament,” Gordon Smith, the executive director and chief operation officer of the USTA, said at a news conference. “We’re only going to close it if it’s going to rain or is raining. There will be rules and procedures put in place. … When at all possible, this will be an outdoor tournament where conditions really do test the players.”
The entire project includes the new roof on Arthur Ashe stadium, a new Louis Armstrong stadium with a roof, a relocated and rebuilt Grandstand, upgrades to smaller courts, seating for practice courts, wider concourse for fans, new tournament and practice courts with more seating, and widened walkways. In addition, capacity will expand from 40,000 to 50,000.
The total cost is estimated at $550 million. The roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium alone is $100 million. Bonds and UTSA revenue should cover the costs and more seating means more revenue. Hopefully spectators will not see a rise in ticket prices to cover any bills.