TENNIS IN THE PARK TRANSFORMED INTO SPECTACLE ON PAR WITH THE OLYMPICS
ROSSETTI has served as the the United States Tennis Association’s master planner and architect since 1990. Located in the historic Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, the 46-acre campus is home of the US Open, the largest tennis event in the United States and the top rated “Grand Stand” tennis event in the world. Maintaining its position requires significant investments in their infrastructure and fan experience, while also growing capacity for the more than 750,000 guests and players at the event each year and valuable corporate partnership opportunities.
In 2010, ROSSETTI and the USTA embarked upon a discovery phase to create a “Sports Spectacle” master plan and invest more than $550 million in new and upgraded sports venues, commercial spaces, public realm and landscape improvements, and support facilities. Constructed between 2012 and 2018, the dramatic integration of sports, spectacle, nature and commerce will position the USTA as the world’s leading tennis organization and provide a state-of-the-art 21st century setting for the sport.
Discovery Phase: "What is Tennis?"
Kicking off the re-discovery phase for a project and relationship started nearly 20 years ago, ROSSETTI and the USTA commenced with four immersive workshops to question “what is tennis?” and “what can the site become?”. Central to finding the answer was understanding the sport of tennis today and tomorrow, as well as the operational and maintenance needs to sports venues and large-scale campuses.
Because this is not a team-based sport venue, creating a multi-functional, multi-scaled campus and experience for the 15-day event is all the more critical for success. Through the discovery workshops, we learned that the USTA National Tennis Center of the future requires the integration of pocket parks for hanging out, exhibition displays for learning, shopping for memorabilia, and concessions for re-energizing.
The centerpiece of the master plan is the construction of a retractable roof over the existing Arthur Ashe Stadium, designed by ROSSETTI and opened in 1997, and two new stadiums — Grandstand Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium — anchoring two sides of the campus. Securing an expanded lease for .68 acres of public park space and approvals for the facility designs required that ROSSETTI guide the USTA through New York City’s strict and multi-departmental regulatory environment.
As a result of these collective enhancements, the National Tennis Center will have the capacity and state-of-the-art campus and facilities for drawing and welcoming up to 10,000 additional people per day during the US Open and increase total attendance to over1.2 million visitors. This will boost the economic impact numbers well above the current $756 million and increase the global TV viewing audience.