White Plains, N.Y., August 2, 2016 – The USTA today officially unveiled the new fully-operational retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. The roof officially closed and opened for the first time during a ceremony which featured executives from the USTA and ROSETTI, as well as media and several tennis luminaries.
The retractable roof, featuring two panels sitting atop a 6,500 ton steel superstructure, is covered with a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) fabric that is stretched over the framing system, and which allows the sun to reflect off of the panels, making the stadium more energy efficient. Moving at a top speed of 25 feet per minute, the roof will be able to be closed or opened in under seven minutes.
The completion of Arthur Ashe Stadium’s retractable roof is only one component in the major transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. This year, fans also will experience a brand new Grandstand Stadium and an expanded and enhanced southern campus. The new Grandstand will feature 8,125 seats – an addition of more than 2,000 seats over the capacity of the old Grandstand – while still giving spectators one of the most intimate viewing experiences in professional tennis. In addition, the southern campus has been completely overhauled to ease congestion, provide expanded fan amenities, and enhance visitors’ overall US Open experience.
The roof was closed and opened during today’s ceremony by tennis legend Billie Jean King and Jeanne Ashe, wife of the late champion for whom the stadium is named, who joined USTA Chairman of the Board and President, Katrina Adams; USTA Executive Director, Gordon Smith; USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center COO, Danny Zausner; and ROSSETTI President, Matt Rossetti.
“The USTA has always strived to move forward as an organization, to innovate and think boldly, and the transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center falls directly in line with that goal,” said Adams.
“US Open fans, viewers and players deserve the ultimate tennis experience, and the transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center provides exactly that,” said Smith. “The US Open takes place in New York City, a town synonymous with excitement, and the inclusion of the retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium now truly makes the US Open the ultimate center stage for the sport of tennis.”