- USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is located in Flushing, in the
New York Cityborough of Queensand has been the home of the US Open Grand Slam tennis tournamentplayed every year in August and September. According to the United States Tennis Association, the center is the 2nd largest public tennisfacility 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 DecoTurfcushioned acrylic surface since the facility was built in 1978.
Located across from
Shea Stadiumand Citi Fieldin 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 KingNational Tennis Center, as tennis greats such as Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connorslooked on. It is the largest and most prestigious sports facility in the world to be named after a woman.
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 Stadiumon a flight into New York's LaGuardia Airport. He asked New York Cityto 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] .
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 Stadiumreplaced 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 Centerand Arthur Ashe Stadiumhosted its first ever non-tennis event, when the New York Libertyof 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 basketballregular season game ever played outdoors, by either men or women. The contest featured the Indiana Feverdeafeating the New York Liberty71-55.
U.S. Open (tennis)
Arthur Ashe Stadium
* [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]
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