A five-year project to modernize the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will be finished by this summer.
In 2013, the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which operates the center, sought to reshape the look, feel and functionality of the grounds that host the U.S. Open every summer. They launched the Strategic Transformation project, which has been working on the look and feel of the grounds for the past five years.
This includes the construction of the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, built on the footprint of the original facility, adjacent to Arthur Ashe Stadium. Construction began in 2016 after the conclusion of that year’s U.S. Open. That project started soon after the USTA debuted the new retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium; a new Grandstand; new West Stadium arenas; practice courts; and a completely renovated and redesigned southern campus.
The new Louis Armstrong Stadium will be completed in time for the start of the U.S. Open this August. The new 14,000-seat facility will be the second stadium on the grounds to feature a retractable roof. Designed by ROSSETTI, the roof’s construction allows the stadium to be the first naturally ventilated tennis stadium in the world, encouraging air flow, eliminating the need for an air conditioning or processing system in the structure.
“The simple geometry and massing of the stadium allowed us to come up with a roof solution where we can open and close the roof in under five minutes,” said Matt Rossetti, CEO and president of ROSSETTI, during a May 17 tour of the still-under-construction stadium. “The idea that we want to maintain is that everybody feels like they’re still playing outdoors at the tennis court.”
In addition to the retractable roof, the new Louis Armstrong Stadium will feature two entranceways with a grand staircase, an escalator and elevator, visiting areas on the lower concourse, storefronts featuring U.S. Open Collection, Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Wilson, and a variety of food, drink and merchandise concession stands.
“For what we’ve done here in the past five years, I think it’s remarkable and extraordinary that we’ve added so many different elements to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” said Katrina Adams, USTA president and chairman of the board. “Fans are going to be so excited and the players are going to be excited that there will be so much room around our facility that they can spread out and enjoy tennis at all corners.”
Here’s a look at the work that has been done on the Louis Armstrong Stadium so far: