The USTA has announced final schedules as well as a series of physical improvements and new fan enhancements for the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The two-week tournament begins on Monday, August 25, and concludes with the Men’s Singles Final on Monday, September 8.
In the first phase of a five-year transformation of the site, new elevated seating has been constructed around the practice courts and tournament courts 4, 5, and 6 to create a unique three-court stadium viewing experience for fans. For the first time, fans will be able to watch competitive action on three tournament courts simultaneously, and will have enhanced, unobstructed views of the player practice courts. The elevated viewing area will hold more than 1,300 fans, and fan amenities will be available on the ground level. Additionally, Court 5 now will be the US Open’s seventh television court, and will feature two video screens and electronic line calling.
The completion of this area marks the first phase in a series of on-site improvements that eventually will include two new stadiums replacing the current Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand Stadium, a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and a southern expansion of the existing campus that will ease crowding and provide additional fan amenities. The USTA is targeting completion of this transformation by 2018. To highlight these changes for fans in attendance, the USTA has created a new gallery—US Open of Tomorrow—that showcases the future transformation of the National Tennis Center.
Other new offerings at the 2014 US Open will include the addition of the American Collegiate Invitational during the second week of the tournament. Eight American men and eight American women will be invited to compete in the tournament which will take place on the new tournament courts from Thursday, September 4, through Saturday, September 6. The tournament was spearheaded by USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty who wanted to create a showcase event to highlight some of America’s best college players.
Also, the USTA will schedule the Boy’s and Girl’s Juniors Singles Finals on Court 17 in order to increase the visibility and fan accessibility to these events. Both finals will take place on Sunday, September 7. The Finals will include a stadium announcer and other production elements for the first time. Also, the USTA will make additional grounds passes available for that Sunday, and all those attending the Junior Singles Finals will be invited to stay and watch the Women’s Singles Final on the video boards in Court 17.
Fitz and The Tantrums will perform at this year’s Opening Night Ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Following the band’s performance, 3 Winans Brothers, the Grammy-Award-winning brothers Bebe, Marvin and Carvin, will take to the court to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” In a new tradition at the US Open, all performances will be surrounded by an immersive video and lighting spectacle, with dynamic projections of great US Open moments and tennis graphics on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Other notable events and fan favorites at the 2014 US Open include:
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess: The 19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess will be held on the grounds of the NTC and in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, August 23. The free morning grounds festival offers kids and their families a great opportunity to experience the sport of tennis, with a variety of kid-friendly tennis programming including interactive games and clinics. In addition to tennis, the fun environment will include musical performances, jugglers and other entertainers. This year’s stadium show, which is a ticketed event, will feature a host of popular performers including Hunter Hayes, MKTO, McClain, The Vamps, Madison Beer, and DJ Salerno. Tennis greats Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Novak Djokovic also will be part of the stadium show. The 90-minute show will be taped by CBS Sports and airs on Sunday, August 24, at 12 noon ET.
US Open Qualifying Tournament: The US Open Qualifying tournament will begin on Tuesday, August 19 and conclude on Friday, August 22. The tournament, which offers more than $1.5 million in prize money, is free to the public. On Wednesday, August 20, the USTA will celebrate “Queens Day” at the tournament. Local Queens-based musicians, from jazz, to rap, to traditional Indian, will perform throughout the day. Also, in conjunction with the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce, information, coupons and other offers for Queens businesses will be provided to fans and visitors. The US Open Qualifying Tournament will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network over all four days of the tournament.
US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships: The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships will take place from Thursday, September 4, through Sunday, September 7. The tournament traditionally attracts the top male and female wheelchair competitors from around the world. Again in 2014, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and quad singles and doubles will be contested.
Champions Invitational: Sixteen former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists will compete in the US Open Champions Invitational during the second week of the tournament. The Invitational will be comprised of four men’s doubles and four women’s doubles teams. Fan favorites scheduled to play include John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport and Tracy Austin, among others.
Second Thursday Exhibition: Prior to men’s singles quarterfinal action in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday, September 4, four all-time greats will entertain the crowd with a fun exhibition. With 18 Grand Slam singles championships between them, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Mats Wilander, will be joined by US Open fan favorite and U.S. Davis Cup stalwart James Blake, making his first appearance in Arthur Ashe Stadium since retiring last year, in what should prove to be an entertaining and memorable night.
A Taste of the Open: Known for its innovative approach to cuisine and food offerings, the US Open offers premium dining experiences throughout the National Tennis Center. The US Open is again teaming with celebrity chefs David Burke, Masaharu Morimoto, and Tony Mantuano, with Richard Sandoval, of restaurant Maya fame, coming on-board for the first time. All four chefs will create signature offerings not found at any other sporting event in the world. On-site dining includes Champions Bar & Grill, Aces, the US Open Club and the Oyster Bar, all located within Arthur Ashe Stadium. Dining options outside of Ashe Stadium include Mojito Restaurant and Bar, Heineken Red Star Café, Heineken House, Wine Bar Food, Moet & Chandon Terrace, the Patio Café, and an extensive Food Village.
US Open American Express Fan Experience: New this year to the US Open American Express Fan Experience is the MyOpen wristband, a digitally-connected wristband that lets fans capture all of their activities within the Fan Experience and then access them in one place via email and a specially-constructed microsite. The Fan Experience also will offer Rally Cam for the first time, which takes a 180-degree photo in front of a US Open-themed background. The Fan Experience will provide swing analysis through new racquet technology, and all-day programming for players of all levels on the Fan Court. In addition, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum returns to the US Open American Express Fan Experience for the third year with a new exhibit, “Tennis Evolves: Racquets and Fashion,” which features touch-table interactivity.
Chase: This year, Chase has pledged $110,000 to the USTA Foundation to help support its National Junior Tennis & Learning network in 10 markets nationwide: Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Denver, Portland, Jacksonville, New York City and San Francisco. Each NJTL chapter among the ten cities will receive $10,000. In addition, one of those ten chapters will receive a $10,000 bonus if they secure the most mentions during a Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #returntheserve. The competition will begin August 16 and conclude on JPMorgan Day at the US Open on September 7. JPMorgan Chase will be promoting the campaign from one of its on-site booths at the US Open.
US Open Live Predictive Challenge presented by LG G3: This predictive challenge game is a first of its kind for tennis. During each match, fans can predict match action and test their skills against others. Since this game takes place in real-time, fans get to predict what will take place next in a match, move-by-move, allowing them to participate from their seats at the match or when they are watching from home or on the go. Fans will have the chance to win great prizes from LG including the LG G3 phone, LG OLED Smart TV and others. US Open Live Predictive Challenge will be available on the official US Open mobile and tablet apps.
US Open Social Media Walls 2.0: After last year’s success of tennis’ first-ever social media wall, the US Open will now house three separate, themed social walls for fan engagement and interaction. On each of the three 20’ x 10’ walls, social media content will be curated and aggregated from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Fan Buzz wall will be presented by American Express, while the Player Pulse wall will be presented by IBM, and the Open World wall will be presented by Esurance. With three separate locations, fans can stay connected to all the US Open social chatter wherever they are on the grounds of the National Tennis Center or on usopen.org.
“Story of the Open” Billboard: The US Open has commissioned artist Josh Cochran who will, over the course of the tournament, complete a mural commemorating the story of the 2014 US Open. The artist will bring the tournament to life based on trending topics and social mentions aggregated through #StoryofTheOpen. The mural will take shape daily throughout the tournament on a billboard above one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city—the Midtown Tunnel.
Military Appreciation Day: The US Open will honor members of the military on Labor Day Monday (September 1). Military Appreciation Day will be anchored by a tribute to Navy Lt. Joe Hunt, a great American champion and patriot who beat Navy Seaman Jack Kramer to win the 1943 U.S. Championships. Before he had the opportunity to defend his crown, Lt. Hunt was killed in a training exercise when his plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. In addition to the Hunt tribute, the US Open will recognize Wounded Warriors and other veterans throughout the course of the day.
Childhood Anti-Obesity Month: Leila Ali will lead a kids’ tennis clinic on Monday, September 1 to launch the USTA’s national efforts to get young people active during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The USTA will support more than 1,000 Play Days at tennis facilities across the country during the month of September. Over the past three years, the USTA has teamed with Let’s Move!, PALA, and other organizations to raise awareness about the dangers of childhood obesity and present tennis as a fun and viable option to fight this national epidemic.
US Open Green Initiative: Recognized as one of the leaders and innovators in greening sports events, the US Open will extend its Green Initiative to touch nearly every aspect of the 2014 US Open. Launched in 2008, the US Open Green Initiative annually substantially reduces the carbon footprint of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the three weeks of the tournament. In 2014, the USTA expects that more than 400 tons of waste will be diverted from landfills through recycling and composting efforts.
US Open Television Broadcasts: Again in 2014, CBS Sports, ESPN and Tennis Channel will serve as the domestic television providers of the US Open. From Monday through Friday of the first week Tennis Channel will begin its coverage at 11 am. From 1pm through 6 pm, ESPN will carry the action, with coverage switching to ESPN2 beginning at 6pm and then continuing on ESPN2 through completion of that day’s matches. For Labor Day Weekend, CBS Sports will provide tournament coverage from 11 am through at least 6 pm on Saturday, August 30, Sunday, August 31, and Monday, September 1. CBS Sports’ coverage will be supplemented by additional coverage on CBS Sports Network those three days. On the evenings of Labor Day Saturday and Labor Day Sunday, Tennis Channel will provide coverage from 7 pm to the conclusion of the day’s matches. On Labor Day Monday, ESPN2 will provide coverage from 7 pm to conclusion of the day’s matches. From Tuesday, September 2, through Thursday, September 4, ESPN will serve as the primary broadcaster of the tournament, with supplemental coverage provided by Tennis Channel, and with ESPN2 being the carrier of the Wednesday, September 3 night session. From Friday, September 5, through Monday, September 8, CBS Sports will carry all the men’s and women’s singles semifinals, as well as the men’s and women’s singles finals. ESPN2 will carry the men’s doubles finals on Saturday, September 6.
New Partners at the US Open: The US Open will welcome three new sponsors to the 2014 US Open. In addition to sponsoring the US Open predictive game, LG Electronics will showcase the company’s latest innovations in the LG Gallery located inside Louis Armstrong Stadium. The Chia Co, world innovators in health food, will offer Chia Pods, a ready-to-eat product combining the nutrition of chia seeds with coconut milk and fruit, from a branded promotional space at the US Open. In addition The Chia Co will receive on-court exposure through branded coolers in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand. Visit Orlando will leverage the US Open to promote Orlando as a destination to on-site fans as well as to a global audience via on-court signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
US Open Court of Champions: The US Open Court of Champions celebrates the legacy of the greatest singles champions in the history of the US Open and U.S. Championships. This year, Tony Trabert, a two-time winner of the men’s title at the U.S. Championships, and long-time voice of the US Open on CBS Sports, will be inducted into the Court of Champions prior to the men’s singles final, on Monday, September 8.