The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is a tennis facility located in New York, United States, in the borough of Queens, where the US Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is held in August and September.
Run by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) since 1978, this complex features 22 tennis courts within its 46.5 acres and another 11 in the adjacent park. The main court is the Arthur Ashe Stadium which, with a maximum of 23,771 seats, is the largest tennis stadium in the world.
The surface of the courts is the DecoTurf, a fast surface that has a little less friction and produces a lower rebound than other hard courts (in particular the Rebound Ace, a surface used in the past at the Australian Open.), used since the construction of the plant. There are also 16 other courts (12 indoor hard courts, 4 clay courts), dedicated exclusively to public use.
The complex is dedicated, starting from the US Open 2006, to the multi-winner of this tournament Billie Jean King, who since 1964 has won this tournament 13 times (4 in singles, 5 in doubles, and 4 in mixed doubles).
The idea of building a tennis facility began to take hold in the fall of 1976, when William E. Hester, who would soon become president of the USTA, recognized the need to find another site to host the US Open since the West Side Tennis Club was no longer able to host a competition of this kind, which was beginning to have more and more importance on the international scene.
Hester himself chose to build this facility in New York, after having observed, flying over the city, the Louis Armstrong Stadium inside the Flushing Meadows Park: Hester then asked the city administration for permission to enlarge the facility in order to host the tournament. Construction began in October 1977 and the complex opened in August 1978.
In March 1995, with the concession of more acres of land to the United States Tennis Association, work began for a further expansion of the facility, with the construction of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, completed in 1997, which replaced the Louis Armstrong Stadium as the main stadium of the tournament.
In 2006, construction began on a modern multi-purpose center, comprising 12 tennis courts, fitness centers, and training rooms, in place of the old indoor court located near the East Gate of the complex. The works ended in 2008. In 2011, during the construction of camp 17, remains of the Expo 1939 and the 1964 international fair were found, making the work more complicated.
Work is underway for the construction of a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium and for the enlargement of the Louis Armstrong Stadium (also planned with the roof), for a total cost of $ 550 million.
Main Stadiums Of USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Arthur Ashe Stadium
L ‘ Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main tennis court system. Built-in 1997 and designed by the Rossetti architectural studio, the stadium is dedicated to Arthur Ashe, the first African-American to win the tournament in 1968. With a maximum capacity of 24,000, it is the largest tennis stadium in the world.
Louis Armstrong Stadium
The Louis Armstrong Stadium was built in 1964 for the international exhibition in New York the same year. The stadium is dedicated to the famous jazz singer Louis Armstrong who lived near the stadium until his death in 1971. The capacity of the stadium reached 18,000 seats until the construction of Arthur Ashe Stadium and then decreased to the current 10,000 seats.