By Bob Stockton
- New features at the 2010 US Open, to begin August 30 in New York, include upgraded facilities across the grounds, including new concession areas and the Octagon merchandise marquee, and expanded streaming on USOpen.org of all matches in all television windows. Other fan enhancements include the introduction of the Promenade Experience, which will better integrate the fans located in the Promenade sections of Arthur Ashe Stadium into the US Open experience, the expansion of SmashZone, the premier interactive fan experience in tennis, and a unique doubles exhibition featuring four legends of the game. The USTA also will host its second annual Family Day at the US Open, with reserved family seating in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday, August 31. Parents accompanied by children 14-and-under can sit together in reserved seating in Louis Armstrong Stadium. The day’s activities will feature a family scavenger hunt, tennis giveaways, family-friendly entertainment attractions and a special QuickStart demonstration with Tracy Austin. An exclusive family breakfast, located in the Corporate Hospitality Pavilion in the Indoor Training Center, is also available as a ticket package for purchase and includes early access to Smashzone and a VIP gift bag.The QuickStart Tennis play format will be demonstrated for the first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session on Thursday, September 9. The demonstration will feature top QuickStart Tennis players under the age of 10.Fans sitting in the promenade section of Arthur Ashe Stadium will enjoy a new “experience” at the 2010 US Open. During each night session in 2010, Harry Cicma of World Tennis Television will serve as an in-stadium announcer and fans will be entertained by the “Prom Patrol,” who will provide prize giveaways. Wireless cameras will broadcast the Promenade Experience on the in-stadium vieos screens, and fans will have chances to win behind-the-scenes US Open experiences. The Promenade Experience also will feature celebrities and former tennis professionals who will visit the promenade patrons.Also new will be microphones being installed in the player boxes in Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will help viewers get even closer to the emotion and drama of the US Open by adding the perspective of the players’ guests as matches unfold.Other innovations are as follows;
QuickStart Clinic on Court 12: The USTA will hold a QuickStart Tennis clinic on Court 12 on Saturday, September 4, from 1:00–7:00pm that is open to all ticketholders. The USTA will provide age-appropriate racquets and balls, and USTA coaches will be available to provide teaching tips.
SmashZone: The premier fan interactive attraction in tennis, SmashZone will return to the 2010 US Open at its location in the Indoor Training Center. The 20,000-square-foot interactive experience features the QuickStart Tennis play format (tennis scaled to size for kids) with special guest appearances on our “Center Court.” New attractions this year include the Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery, and opportunity to rally against an electronic backboard in a series of timed activities in the Training Zone presented by EveryoneBreathe.com.
US Open Gallery – International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum: Each year since 1999, the US Open Gallery features a display from the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. The gallery has moved to its new location inside SmashZone, where this year fans can have their photo taken with a replica US Open Trophy, meet legends of the game and experience tennis history. The US Open Gallery is open daily.
Chase Quick Deposit: Fans can visit one of two on-site Chase booths during each session to enter the Chase QuickDepositSM PIX2WIN sweepstakes. Each day, one grand prize winner will receive $1,000, ten winners will receive $100, and up to 100 winners will get two passes to the new Chase Lounge.
Olympus: Olympus will have a new booth this year that provides fans the opportunity to make their own commercials based on the US Open “It Must Be Love” campaign. The booth will be located in the South Plaza.
Stonyfield Café: This year, the Food Village will now feature Stonyfield Café, a grab-and-go dining option dedicated to serving healthy food, fast. Sonyfield Café will offer food options that are all-natural and/or organic, locally grown and sustainable.
US Open Court of Champions Induction: Margaret Osborne duPont and Ken Rosewall will be inducted into the US Open Court of Champions in a ceremony held prior to the men’s singles final on Sunday, September 12. Osborne duPont won three straight US National Championships singles titles from 1948-50 and won 13 US National Championships doubles titles, including 10 straight from 1941-50. Rosewall swept the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the 1956 US National Championships and also won the 1970 US Open. Following his induction into the US Open Court of Champions, Rosewall will toss the coin for the men’s singles final.
Upgraded Concessions and Restaurants: The East Gate Concession Stand has been entirely rebuilt, as has the Patio Café adjacent to Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will provide fans even more food and drink options as they roam the grounds at the US Open. Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateurs of the US Open, is offering a number of new menu items across the grounds, including new offerings in the Heineken Light Lounge.
The Octagon: The Octagon, which is responsible for 50% of all merchandise sales at the US Open, has been entirely renovated. Point of sales will increase from 24 to 30, the interior display wall size will double in capacity and visual merchandising capabilities will be vastly improved.
Doubles Exhibition: Following the success of the US Open Champions Invitational, the 2010 US Open will feature a special doubles exhibition match on Thursday evening, September 9, featuring tennis legends Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova competing against Pat Cash and Mats Wilander.
Wheelchair Tennis: The 2010 US Open Wheelchair Competition, taking place September 9-12, will bring 20 of the worlds’ top wheelchair athletes. Now in its fifth year, the competition will feature a Men’s, Women’s and Quad division and both singles and doubles play. Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis, except the ball can bounce twice.
Record Prize Money: The 2010 US Open purse will top $22.6 million, marking the fourth consecutive year that the tournament’s prize money has increased by $1 million. Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn a record $1.7 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series. The top three men’s and top three women’s finishers in the Olympus US Open Series Bonus Challenge will together earn up to an additional $2.6 million in bonus prize money, which provides a potential total payout of $25.2 million.
US Open in Madison Square Park: After a year hiatus, the US Open will return to Madison Square Park, which will set up projection screens to view the event each day of the tournament from Friday, September 3 to Sunday, September 12. The US Open in Madison Square Park will be presented by American Express. * In event details released by the All England Club and London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, players competing in the Olympic tennis event at the All England Club will be permitted to wear colored clothing. “Players will not be required to wear tennis whites. They can wear their Olympic outfit,” said London 2012 director of sport Debbie Jevans.
“It reflects that it’s an Olympic event,” explained Ian Ritchie, the club’s chief executive officer. “It was an easy thing to agree to, because it’s a recognition that it’s someone else’s event.”
Other Olympic details released include sessions starting at 11 am daily, tickets going on sale next year with up to 26,000 spectators able to attend every day, a reduction from around 40,000 at the Wimbledon Championships.
“I think there will be a great interest because Wimbledon is heavily over-subscribed every year and to some extent maybe it opens up a slightly different audience,” said All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie. “We are enormously supportive of this but it is not the Championships at Wimbledon, it is a different event and it is meant to have its own approach. The idea was never to have a repeat of Wimbledon, this will have its own mark.”
Matches will played on 12 courts including Centre, Court One and Court Two, with the new Court Three used for warming-up, and they will be played over the best-of-three sets, except for the men’s singles final which will be best of five.
- Dr. Deborah MacFarlane was named as the New York Junior Tennis League’s new CEO, succeeding Jim O’Neill, who has been serving as interim acting President/CEO. Dr. MacFarlane has been a founder, leader, and builder of NYC nonprofit community organizations in the areas of education and community development. She is strongly committed to changing the lives of children through tennis. Dr. MacFarlane founded and served as president of HOPE Program; designing, developing, and implementing an employment-education program for homeless families. She also served as Senior Vice President of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation where she established the SOBRO Center for Career Development for disadvantaged youth and adults. She was president and CEO of Per Scholas, in the Bronx, where she established a nationally recognized computer technician training program serving hundreds of disadvantaged young adults each year. Most recently, she was Vice President Institutional Development for Channel Thirteen. Dr. MacFarlane is an active tennis player and currently competes in USTA League Tennis. As the largest youth tennis organization in the nation and the largest affiliate of the United States Tennis Association’s National Junior Tennis League, the NYJTL provides year-round free tennis and educational support programs in more than 400 schoolyards, public parks, community centers, and public housing developments in New York City and lower Westchester County. NYJTL is also the promoter and beneficiary of the EmblemHealth Bronx Open, an ITF $100,000 women’s tennis tournament. The tournament will be played at Crotona Park, in the Bronx, New York from August 23-28, 2010. Fans have the opportunity to watch WTA Tour professionals from around the world ranked in the top 100 who will play in the main draw at the 2010 US Open.
- Teddy Tennis, the British developed tennis programme for children age 3½ to 5½, will be launched later this month in North America today ahead of the US Open. Teddy Tennis has teamed up with Patricia Jensen, renowned American tennis marketer and mother of the famous “Jensen Brothers” Murphy and Luke, to launch the programme, initially to a specially invited list of tennis professionals later this month at the Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon, New Jersey. Teddy Tennis is a new teaching method that inspires young children aged 3½ – 5½ to play tennis and develop a love of sport. It creatively connects to children through music, pictures, stories and teddy bear characters and it makes learning the elementary skills of tennis and sport in general FUN. Richard Bean, Co-founder of Teddy Tennis said “We are very excited about the Teddy Tennis launch in the US. I have taught a number of American children at the Teddy Tennis Academy in West London and they absolutely love it; their parent’s only complaint is that there is nothing like it in the USA. Unlike the UK, tennis is experiencing a massive growth in the US and we are very confident that our program will be very well received there.” Teddy Tennis has been developed in Holland Park, West London and this year alone, over 800 children have participated in the programme. Teddy Tennis teaching is made up of a series of lessons all of which use music and pictures to inspire the children to take part, to learn and to have fun. As well as getting children active and teaching them to play tennis, Teddy Tennis enhances co-ordination, grows confidence, develops communication skills and introduces young children to the concept of learning. Roger Draper Chief Executive of British Tennis said: “We think it is a great idea for the 3 and 5 year olds to build a foundation of good all round athletic fundamentals with music and pictures to help the youngsters understand the learning experience of tennis, we wish them well in their venture.”