With the 2016 U.S. Open over, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows hosted an Open House on Sunday, giving free tours, clinics and other activities to showcase the new grounds throughout the complex.
“The purpose of this event is to reintroduce our beautiful campus to people that have not been able to play outside here the last couple of years because of the construction,” said Debra Russell, Senior Business Manager of National Tennis Center Tennis Programs. “We will be undergoing construction until probably 2020, but at least some of the field courts are open and they are absolutely beautiful.
We expanded a lot, and it is really breathtaking for people who haven’t been here to actually see all of it.”
Those who attended the event were able to participate in clinics put on by Wilson and Cardio Tennis on the indoor courts, and then were taken around the vast grounds to check out how much work has been done over the past few years, including the redone outer courts and the new Grandstand.
The tour allowed for attendees to play on the outer courts and experience what it is like to play on the courts that many of the world’s top players have practiced on, as well as the courts where fans pour in to watch during the U.S. Open.
“What we are really excited about is to get back a lot of the excitement and energy for people to be playing outside here,” Russell added, saying that the outdoor courts have always been accessible to the public, but will now be more readily available. “The indoor courts are great, but it is really exciting to be playing outside on those courts where you know the main pro players played on. Just to have all the indoor courts and the outdoor courts going, and the whole place filled up again, with not only our junior players, but also our academy players and the senior players, is what is really exciting.”
The event was help put on by many non-profit organizations in the New York City area, including the New York Korean American Tennis Association, Chinese American Tennis Society of New York, NYJTL and the City Parks Foundation.
“The goal is to continue to grow the great game of tennis. So by offering a host of different programs for all levels and ages we just hope people give tennis a try and stay with it for life,” said Whitney Kraft, Director of Tennis at the National Tennis Center. “The other exciting part of today is that we are featuring our community partners, all the non-profits that do such great work in the metro area.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to grow the participation of tennis, and so that makes us really excited about the celebration today.”
To learn more about the National Tennis Center and some of the programs it offers, visit the National Tennis Center website.
Click Here to check out more photos from Sunday's Open House.