News Americas, FLUSHING, N.Y., Fri. Aug., 16, 2013: Get ready for a transformed United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The USTA on Thursday announced plans for a sweeping transformation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that will include building a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and the construction of two new stadiums.
The cost is estimated at $550 million and the USTA said it will cover the entire cost through a combination of bonds and USTA revenue generation.
The transformation, officials said, will be implemented in three phases to begin at the conclusion of the 2013 US Open, with the goal of overall completion by the 2018 US Open. The completion of the retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium is scheduled for August 2017.
In addition to the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, phase one of construction is scheduled to include the shifting of the existing practice courts and two tournament courts to the north. This will allow the construction of an expanded viewing area for the practice courts and the three new tournament courts. This enhanced fan experience will require the re-building of the current transportation facilities located adjacent to Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The retractable roof is being designed by ROSSETTI, the designer and architect of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The USTA has hired Hunt Construction Group to build the retractable roof structure. Hunt has a long and impressive track record of sports facility construction in New York City, including construction of the Barclays Center and Citifield. As designed, the retractable roof constructed of flexible, translucent PTFE fabric stretched over a steel frame, will be supported by eight steel columns surrounding Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Phase two of the transformation will be anchored by the construction of a new 8,000-seat Grandstand Stadium in the southwest quadrant of the Tennis Center. Simultaneously, field courts 7 through 16 will be moved south so that a larger pedestrian and fan esplanade can be created, better connecting the new Grandstand with Court 17. This southern expansion also allows the USTA to further enhance the fan experience, with a new additional food court, new merchandise locations and sponsor exhibit booths, and other fan amenities across the southern expanse of the Tennis Center.
“We have been working toward a viable design for a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium for more than a decade,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Dave Haggerty. “Through a long and arduous process, we feel that we now have a design that meets the criteria of being architecturally sound, aesthetically pleasing, reasonably affordable, and buildable.”