Introduction to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is the venue for the annual grand slam US Open. It is located in the New York City of the United States. It was inaugurated on 28th August 2006. This venue has been operated by the United States Tennis Association or USTA since 1978. It has 22 courts inside it spread around 46.5 acres and 11 more in the adjoining park. The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center complex has three stadiums among which the Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis stadium in the world which has a capacity of accommodating 23, 200 fans.
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is located near Citi Field which is the home of the baseball team New York Mets. If the weather permits the USTA center is open for the public in general for the entire year except for a month between August/September because of the US Open. USTA also holds a junior level tournament of the wood racquet as well. This kind of centers also creates very useful tennis instructional videos activities as well.
Creation and Expansion of USTA Center
In January 1977 the then President of the USTA W. E. “Slew” Hester saw the underused land for Singer Bowl the Louis Armstrong Stadium when he was in a flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, he asked the New York City Authorities to let him use that stadium and the adjoining land for the tennis facility so that his organization can host the US Open. The USTA Center was then opened in August 1978.
Suddenly there were rumors that the US Open may be shifted to San Diego but then a major upgradation of the USTA Center came into effect in March 1995 and USTA acquired more land and in August 1997 Louis Armstrong Stadium was replaced by the newly built and the biggest tennis stadium, Arthur Ashe Stadium. Previously, Louis Armstrong Stadium could accommodate only 10, 000 spectators against 22, 000 plus for the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center also has an indoor tennis building which includes 12 courts, classrooms, fitness centers and a pro shop. It also has a museum, food commissary, and a hospitality center. For players, it has a lounge, locker rooms, training, medical and office space.
Non Tennis Events at USTA Center
In July 2008, the first-ever non-tennis event was also held in this USTA center, which was the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) game between Indiana Fever and New York Liberty. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center also holds the annual New York State High School tennis championship, which is sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association or NYSPHSAA.