Louis Armstrong Stadium

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Coordinates: 40°45′03.4″N 73°50′43.8″W / 40.750944°N 73.845500°W / 40.750944; -73.845500

Louis Armstrong Stadium
Louis Armstrong Stadium.jpg
as seen from Arthur Ashe Stadium
Location USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing, Queens, New York City
Owner USTA
Capacity 10,200 (current)
18,000 (approximate, prior to construction of Arthur Ashe Stadium)
Surface DecoTurf
Construction
Opened 1978
Architect Rossetti Architects
Tenants
US Open

Louis Armstrong Stadium is a tennis stadium of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and one of the venues of the U.S. Open, the last of each year's four Grand Slam tournaments. The Center is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, in the New York City borough of Queens. Armstrong was the main stadium before Arthur Ashe Stadium opened in 1997, and is now the No. 2 stadium. It is named after the noted jazz musician, Louis Armstrong, who lived nearby until his death in 1971.

Inside Armstrong Stadium during the 2006 US Open.
Inside Armstrong Stadium during the 2006 US Open.

The stadium was originally built as the Singer Bowl for the 1964 New York World's Fair, and hosted special events and concerts afterwards. In the early 1970s, the United States Tennis Association was looking for a new place to host the U.S. Open as relations with the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, which had hosted the tournament, were breaking down. The USTA was initially unable to find a sufficient site, but the association's incoming president, W.E. Hester saw the old Singer Bowl from the window of an airplane flying into LaGuardia Airport. The old, long rectangular stadium was heavily renovated and divided into two venues, becoming the square Louis Armstrong Stadium, with the remaining third becoming the attached Grandstand.

In 1997, the stadium was usurped as the Open's #1 venue by Arthur Ashe Stadium. Armstrong Stadium was renovated again, with the top tiers of seating being removed. The stadium held close to 18,000 at its peak, but this was reduced to around 10,200 with the renovation, which also added a brick facade to match that of the Ashe Stadium.

Attached to the Louis Armstrong Stadium is the Grandstand, the third largest stadium at the US Open, with a seating capacity of about 6,000.[1]

The current stadium is scheduled to be replaced by a new 15,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium in time for the 2018 US Open. The new stadium is planned to have a retractable roof as part of a $550 million renovation of the National Tennis Center.[2]

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