With the French Open over it is about time to talk about the US Open right? Right. So let's talk about the 2018 US Open, shall we? Because if the U. S. Tennis Association has its way (and it will) that year the event—which generates more than $750 million in economic activity for the city—will have undergone a $500 million facelift. But still the main facilities at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center won't have roofs—despite rain delays being a regular problem!
USTA officials tell the Times that they can't put a roof over the Arthur Ashe Stadium because ground beneath it—"a swamp-like ash dump"—cannot physically support it. “This issue has been given significant attention,” Gordon Smith, the USTA’s chief operating officer, said. “It’s very important long term to us.”
Still, a new Louis Armstrong stadium being planned to replace the old one with a capacity of 15,000 (up from 10,000) can support a roof—but won't get one until the main Ashe stadium can as well. Other changes in the plan include a new two-level viewing deck by the practice courts, a new 8,000-seat Grandstand, more retail space (as if there weren't enough?) and more pedestrian areas. The USTA, which still has debt from the construction of the Ashe Stadium, will be financing the project itself once the cost of its annual debts payments drop in 2014 (though the city will pay for a diversion needed for the pedestrian space). Kinda nice to hear about a sports facility that isn't asking for a government handout, eh?