Stadium Journey: Reviewing the U.S. Open

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., is the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Editor's note: Playbook is tapping its friends at Stadium Journey to share their wealth of information about sports venues across the country and around the world. In preparation for the U.S. Open, we take a look at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The U.S. Open is exactly what it's cracked up to be: the biggest matches on the biggest stage; loud, massive hype; long lines; and best of all, drama under the lights! While steroids in the game of tennis may be illegal, tennis itself is all jacked up on steroids in New York City. In more ways than one, the Open fits in very well with the persona and lifestyle of the city in which it resides.

The United States Open is one of four prestigious ATP and WTA Grand Slam events in which the winner is awarded 2,000 points toward his or her overall world ranking. The event is held at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a spectacular tennis facility that includes a grand total of 28 hard courts, nuzzled right into Flushing Meadows Park. The heart of the property is Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world with a capacity of 23,700. Previous center court, Louis Armstrong Stadium, is just to the east of Ashe and it seats 10,200, with the lower bowl reserved for individual ticket sales.

Literally in the shadows of Armstrong, Grandstand Court offers the coziest feel in which a fan can seemingly be right in the action. The fourth-largest stadium and newest, Court 17, will boast the ability to host big matches in a very small area. Grandstand and Court 17 have capacities of 6,000 and 3,000, respectively. Most impressively, the facility offers four additional small 1,000-seat stadium courts that accommodate good crowds for matches all over the grounds.

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