The strategic vision for the renovated US Open would move the Grandstand from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the grounds and will create a new pedestrian walkway.
By E.J. Crawford, USOpen.org
In a move that allows the US Open to grow, thrive and be enjoyed by generations of fans for decades to come, the New York City Council on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the USTA’s plan to improve the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
By a resounding 47-1 margin, the City Council approved the legislation, which will enable the USTA to replace and renovate aging infrastructure and facilities – and in doing so, to continue its work to grow the sport of tennis throughout the U.S., all while providing fans a world-class tennis experience at the end of every Grand Slam season.
"We are very pleased that the City Council passed the legislation," said David A. Haggerty, Chairman, CEO and President of the USTA. "The updates and improvements to the [USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center] will enhance the usage of the tennis center for local residents, visitors and professional and recreational tennis players while also preserving the US Open Tennis Championships as a world-renowned event."
The City Council vote was the culmination of a public review process that also included the local community boards, Queens Borough President, City Planning and the State Legislature.
"This deal was a long time coming and I can say with confidence that we will all benefit from this expansion," said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, who represents Corona and East Elmhurst. "I am very proud that my community got engaged and demanded a voice in this process. I look forward to working with the USTA to improve the park for everyone."
The USTA unveiled its strategic vision for the renovated home of the US Open a year ago, a vision that includes a new Louis Armstrong Stadium and a new Grandstand shifted from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the grounds to make it easier for fans to navigate the facility. As part of that effort, the plan calls for a new pedestrian walkway that will connect the Grandstand to Court 17, a move that requires 0.68 acres of additional space at the site of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
In exchange for the 0.68 acres, the USTA will return to the city a portion – 1.56 acres – of its currently leased land. The USTA will also launch an increased community outreach program and has made a long-term commitment to fund capital improvements in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and will help establish the FMCP (Flushing Meadows Corona Park) Alliance, which will be dedicated to improving all aspects of the park moving forward.
"We are confident that in partnership with the local Queens communities and elected officials, we will ensure a better Flushing Meadows Corona Park and National Tennis Center," said Gordon Smith, Executive Director and COO of the USTA.
For more on the USTA’s strategic vision for the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, click here