USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center


USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is located in Flushing, in the New York City borough of Queens and has been the home of the US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament played every year in August and September. According to the United States Tennis Association, the center is the 2nd largest public tennis facility in the world [ [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14191&itype=941&icategoryid=0 USTA National Tennis Center Information] , accessed August 1, 2006] [ [http://www.mobiletenniscenter.net/ Mobile Tennis Center] , accessed March 9, 2008] with 22 courts inside the facility and 11 more in the adjoining park. All 33 courts have used the DecoTurf cushioned acrylic surface since the facility was built in 1978.

Located across from Shea Stadium and Citi Field in Queens, the tennis center is open for play 11 months out of the year (closed during inclement weather and in August/September due to the US Open), barring tournaments the USTA holds (such as junior and wood-racket competitions). The center is open to the public for $16 per hour [ [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14186&itype=941 Play at the USTA National Tennis Center] , accessed August 1, 2006] .

On August 28, 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center was [http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2006-08-29/200608291156835261078.html rededicated] as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, as tennis greats such as Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connors looked on. It is the largest and most prestigious sports facility in the world to be named after a woman.

History

Creation

The idea of the tennis center came about in January, 1977 when W. E. "Slew" Hester (the incoming president of the USTA) saw the underused Singer Bowl / Louis Armstrong Stadium on a flight into New York's LaGuardia Airport. He asked New York City to let him use Louis Armstrong Stadium and adjoining land for a tennis facility to host the U.S. Open. The center opened in August, 1978 [ [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14185&itype=941&icategoryid=0 Ashe & Armstrong Stadiums] , accessed August 1, 2006] .

Expansion

With rumors of a possible move to San Diego, a major upgrade and expansion began in 1995. More land was committed to the USTA National Tennis Center, and Arthur Ashe Stadium replaced Louis Armstrong Stadium as the main court. Arthur Ashe Stadium holds more than 22,000 spectators while Louis Armstrong Stadium was downsized to hold just 10,000 spectators (the original size was 18,000) [ [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14189&itype=941&icategoryid=0 History of the USTA National Tennis Center] , accessed August 1, 2006] . Arthur Ashe Stadium is currently the largest tennis-only stadium in the world.

History Making Events

Basketball on a Tennis Court

On July 19, 2008, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium hosted its first ever non-tennis event, when the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) played in the "Liberty Outdoor Classic: 2008". The game itself was a historic event as it was the first ever professional basketball regular season game ever played outdoors, by either men or women. The contest featured the Indiana Fever deafeating the New York Liberty 71-55.

ee also

*U.S. Open (tennis)
*Arthur Ashe Stadium

Notes

External links

* [http://www.usta.com/home/default.sps USTA]
* [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14185&itype=941&icategoryid=0 Ashe and Armstrong Stadiums]
* [http://www.usta.com/nationaltenniscenternews/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=14189&itype=941&icategoryid=0 History of the USTA National Tennis Center]
* [http://www.nyc.gov/html/sports/html/usta-access.html New York City Sports Commission information]

sequence
list = Home of the
U.S. Open
1978-
prev = West Side Tennis Club
1924-1977
next = current venue


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