Arthur Ashe Stadium

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Arthur Ashe Stadium
Interior of Arthur Ashe Stadium
LocationUSTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing, Queens, New York
Coordinates40°44′59.6″N 73°50′49.3″W / 40.749889°N 73.847028°W / 40.749889; -73.847028Coordinates: 40°44′59.6″N 73°50′49.3″W / 40.749889°N 73.847028°W / 40.749889; -73.847028
Public transitMTA NYC logo.svg BSicon SUBWAY.svg "7" train"7" express train​ at Mets–Willets Point
MTA NYC logo.svg Port Washington Branch at Mets–Willets Point
Construction cost$ 254 million
($430 million in 2021 dollars[1])
ArchitectRossetti Architects
US Open (USTA) (1997–present)

Arthur Ashe Stadium is a tennis stadium at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City. Part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, it is the main stadium of the US Open tennis tournament and has a capacity of 23,771 making it the largest tennis stadium in the world.[2][3]

The stadium is named after Arthur Ashe, winner of the inaugural 1968 US Open, the first in which professionals could compete.[4] The original stadium design, completed in 1997, had not included a roof. After suffering successive years of event delays from inclement weather, a new lightweight retractable roof was completed in 2016.


Seen in 2005
In July 2008, Arthur Ashe Stadium hosted its first professional basketball game played outdoors

Opened in 1997, the facility replaced Louis Armstrong Stadium as the primary venue for the tournament. It cost $254 million to construct, and then had 15,547 seats, 90 luxury suites, five restaurants, and a two-level players' lounge, making it by far the largest tennis-only venue in the world. Like the other 32 courts in the facility, it has a DecoTurf cushioned acrylic surface.

On August 25, 1997, the stadium opened by hosting the US Open, with Whitney Houston singing "One Moment in Time" during the stadium's inauguration ceremonies and dedicating the performance to the late Arthur Ashe.[5]

The first official match played on the court was at the 1997 US Open between Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand and Chanda Rubin of the United States. Tanasugarn won in two sets.[6]

The stadium has also hosted the first-ever outdoor regular season WNBA game in 2008; the Indiana Fever beat the host New York Liberty 71–55 on July 19.[7] The game served as a fundraising event for breast cancer research.

The facility features a Hawk-Eye electronic system which allows tennis players to challenge the umpire's decision on calls made throughout championships. In 2005, the color scheme for the courts was changed from green to electric blue inner courts and a light green outer court. All US Open Series events now use this color scheme, providing television viewers a more easily trackable ball — with the yellow tennis balls contrasting more visibly against the blue courts.[8]

On July 26–28, 2019, the stadium hosted the Fortnite World Cup, a three-day long esports tournament with a prize pool of US$30 million, $3 million of which awarded to the winner of the Finals.[9]

On September 22, 2021, the stadium hosted All Elite Wrestling. Dynamite was filmed live, alongside tapings for Rampage as well as Elevation. The Dynamite and Rampage episodes were titled "Grand Slam" with Rampage expanded to two hours for the special. The event marked AEW's debut show in New York City and the first professional wrestling show ever held at the tennis complex.[10]

Retractable roof[edit]

Arthur Ashe Stadium with retractable roof installed, 2018.

Lacking a roof, where relatively strong and unpredictable winds could occur inside the stadium,[11] events were vulnerable to inclement weather — and five straight years of rain delays occurred during the US Open men's singles final from 2008 to 2012.[12]

Despite the original design's lacking provisions for a roof, the USTA announced in 2013 plans to construct a roof for the stadium using a 5,000-short-ton (4,536-tonne) superstructure[13][14] — having consulted "with every architect involved in the design of a stadium roof in North America."[15]

Notably, the site of the Ashe center featured poor soil conditions. It had previously been Manhattan's Corona Ash Dumps (featured prominently in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as the Valley of Ashes) and prior to that a natural wetland swamp. For the new roof, a very light solution was critical.[15]

The roof has two 800-ton fabric panels made of 210,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of lightweight PTFE membrane which can open or close on glides, up to 25 feet per minute,[15] to create an opening roughly the size of 17 Olympic swimming pools.[15] The stadium is not fully conditioned; a new chilled water ventilation system controls humidity when the roof is closed.[15] The new cantilevering design is supported by eight columns that sit on concrete bases, each supported by 20 piles driven 150 to 200 feet deep[15] and has a data acquisition and recording system along with synchronized cameras to interpret the data created by the complex control systems.[16] The roof, which cost $150 million, was part of a $550 million renovation of the National Tennis Center. The retractable roof project was completed in 2016.[17][13][14][18]

The roof was designed by Rossetti Architects and its structure engineered by WSP Global. Geiger Engineers designed the roof's mechanization system.[15] Engineer of Record for the mechanization system was Hardesty & Hanover in partnership with Morgan Engineering.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "The Top 12 Biggest Tennis Stadiums in the World by Capacity - Tennis Creative". May 3, 2021.
  3. ^ "What's New, and What's Free, at the 2018 U.S. Open". The New York Times. August 20, 2018. The new stadium has the tournament’s second retractable roof, after one was added over the 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2016.
  4. ^ "Ashe & Armstrong Stadiums". United States Tennis Association's official website. Archived from the original on November 16, 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2005.
  5. ^ Clifford Krauss (August 22, 1997). "Arthur Ashe Stadium's Opening Serve Is in Giuliani's Court". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  6. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Robbins, Liz (July 20, 2008). "Liberty Has Its Moment in History, if Not a Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  8. ^ "Blue courts to be used make viewing ball easier". Associated Press. May 16, 2005. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  9. ^ Vincent, Brittany. "The next World Cup? Fortnite. Here's everything you need to know". NBC News. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  10. ^ FELDMAN, KATE. "'The coolest wrestling company in the world': AEW brings live show to NYC, Arthur Ashe Stadium in September with 'Dynamite: Grand Slam'". Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Clarey, Christopher (September 8, 2010). "At Main Court, Wind Is Common Opponent". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  12. ^ "U.S. Open: For Fifth Straight Year, Men's Final Pushed to Monday". Sports Media Watch. September 8, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "USTA: Retractable Roof Will Be Constructed Over Arthur Ashe Stadium". CBS. August 14, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Meyers, Naila-Jean (August 15, 2013). "Playing Doubles: U.S. Open Will Get 2 Roofs". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Arthur Ashe Stadium (USTA)". Taiyo Kogyo Corporation. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "iba-System". iba America, LLC. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Popper, Steve (September 3, 2003). "As Rain Continues, Officials Considering Roof for U.S. Open". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  18. ^ Berman, Marc (August 25, 2016). "Wait until you see the US Open's new $150M retractable roof". The New York Post. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  19. ^ "Arthur Ashe Stadium Roof". Steel Institute of New York. Retrieved April 30, 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Arthur Ashe Stadium at Wikimedia Commons