US Open Event Tips
So You Want to Enjoy the US Open Tennis Championships?
The US Open Tennis Championships is played at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing NY
Do you want to try to do it yourself or let an experienced tennis tour company take all the worry away and ensure you have a fun trip? Where will you stay, the best place to sit and lots more – It’s The Open. It’s a Grand Slam. It’s Showtime in New York!
Mac Sports Travel has been hosting tennis fans to all the Grand Slams for over 15 years. The following are a few insider tips for your NY/US Open trip and we have loads more to help you enjoy New York – where to stay, play, dine and enjoy The Big Apple from an insider’s perceptive.
An Arthur Ashe day session reserved seat ticket will get you access to all the courts including Ashe, Armstrong, Grandstand, and 14 outer courts plus practice courts and the grounds with all the fun entertainment during the day. Your day ticket enables you to stay on the grounds to watch matches on all courts including the Jumbo screen except getting into Ashe in the evening (Ashe day/night sessions are sold separately)
The night before you go, download the US Open app for the following day’s schedule and make your game plan so you can make a beeline directly to the court where the match you care about will happen. Use the US Open app to track the latest schedule, scores and live updates.
There is free WiFi at The Open!
How to get to the Open?
- US Open advises to not drive because of the construction, traffic and parking especially if The Mets have a home game.
- Subway #7 – for a short walk on the boardwalk to the East Gate entrance
- Private transfer (we use an experienced US Open transfer company)
- Charter motor coach that drops off and picks up right at the West Gate entrance (a good low-cost option for those who do not want to ride the train or have a mobility issue)
Entrance – East gate or West gate? The West is the main entrance and has been expanded with lots of great photo options such as the Sphere, the fountains, Arthur Ashe statue and the neat Wall of Fame,
Be prepared to get stuck in a long line when gates open and a security line if you have a bag. Mac Sports Travel has access to a VIP entrance so you can breeze through a separate line as a VIP.
Dress is casual with lots of fans wear their tennis gear but have layers as it can get hot during the day and much cooler at night where a sweatshirt might be needed (you can always buy one there). Don’t carry a bag bigger than 12″x12″x18″. Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen and a small umbrella if rain is in the forecast.
On a budget? We have loads of tips to save from schedule, tickets (what we do best), hotels, where to eats, plays, tours and more. Tennis tour companies like Mac Sports Travel have much lower group hotel and ticket rates.
Night matches ticket prices are less and it is special to be at The Open at night. From Ashe Stadium you can look back to see the magnificent skylight of NYC, take in the famous sphere and fountain that are lighted at night plus The Open usually puts Roger and Serena on the night schedule. Some matches have lasted past 2 am.
Do not just get a ground ticket – Why? For just a few dollars more you will have a reserved seat in Arthur Ashe. It is worth it to spend time in Arthur Ashe with the new roof; not only are there no rain-outs, it makes watching more intimate plus the top seeds play in Ashe.
Take advantage of FREE opportunities to see players up close:
- If you’re a real die-hard fan, consider going to the FREE qualifying tournament August 22-25, the week before the main tournament begins. Matches start at 9:30 am and are held on outer courts only (not Ashe).
- Go see top players practicing up close by taking advantage of free access to the US Open grounds the day before the main tournament begins (Sunday August 27 in 2017) to watch practice sessions
- For the past two years, there has been a FREE “Community Day at the US Open” on Thursday (September 7 this year) – gates open at Noon, with grounds admission for the day session
- Free gifts to all USTA members on USTA day.
- When you enter The Open look for the daily give-aways by sponsors
Most are not aware of the ability to buy upgraded tickets once you are in The Open – when you enter the East gate the window is to your right or ask a steward where it is.
Many do not plan their time to take in the Outer Courts where some of the most fun and exciting matches are played plus you are so close to watch the exhilarating ball striking and work-on improve your game!
We like The US Open Club – the Captain’s Table is the best food at The Open. You can get out of the weather and It is air conditioned plus you can sit at the bar to eat or drink and while watching The Open on TV. Ask us for passes to The US Open Club!
Autographs – practice courts plus the player’s locker room are under Arthur Ashe Stadium so they are going and come to their court – good place to see your favorite player pass by! Mega celebrities attend The Open.
The Fun Zone – it looks like it is for kids play but lots to do for the adults that are a kid at heart like enjoying playing virtual tennis against the pro. Display from The Tennis Hall of Fame, Amex lounge. Fun Zone is located to your left after you enter the East gate.
The Plaza – grab a bite or a drink and sit by the fountain where you can – watch the Jumbo screen, take in or dance to the band’s music, this is where many of the former and present players hangout. Don’t be shy, introduce yourself and get a picture and an autograph. TV broadcast booth with player interviews on stage by the jumbo screen with Johnny Mac, etc.
The newly revamped practice courts (that now have bleachers seating over 1,000 people) for close sightings of the superstars including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafa, Serena Williams. View the practice schedule on the electronic board to see when/where players are practicing (you can also see it on the official US Open App)
For Foodies and where to eat: Check out this awesome Sports Illustrated post, “What to Eat and Drink at the 2018 U.S. Open”
Got an Amex card? Bring it or borrow one. “Amex Cool experiences and a large chill area/tent and checkout an earpiece radio to follow other matches while listening to the TV announcers like Jonny Mac commentating. ” And if you spend more than $100 at The Open on your AMEX they will credit you back $20.
Be sure and take a short walk out the West Gate of The Open into Flushing Meadows Corona Park to take pictures by the fountains and the World Fair Sphere. If you have someone who does not want to watch as much tennis as you The Park has a zoo, an art museum, a botanical garden, a science museum, six playgrounds or stroll along the Flushing Bay Promenade.
Baseball fans – when the Mets have a home game you can attend The US Open in the day and then watch an MLB game at night. Citi Field is worth walking around the outside of the stadium to see the many murals and a nice walk along the Hudson River. Check the ferry schedule to get a ride back to Manhattan. Yankee fans – Mac Sports Travel can package a combo of seeing the Yankees while you are in NY at The Open.
Where to stay – we do not recommend staying outside Manhattan. It is important to stay in a Manhattan hotel where you do not have to change trains – The #7 train is the train to the Open. Tennis Tour companies like Mac Sports Travel have much lower group hotel rates. (Stay where the players stay with the best location in Manhattan for convenient transfer options)
Many more insider tips to come – if you travel to US Open with Mac Sports Travel, we will send lots more insider tips with your final docs 2 weeks prior to The Open, your host will give you up to minute tips at welcome social and most take their first 20 minutes at The Open to walk around The Open grounds with your MST host where he will show best places to eat, shop, watch and how to enjoy the newly expanded grounds at The Open.
Bring a backup phone charger if you have one. There are some re-charging stations, but after all the photos and video you take with your phone and use of Wi-Fi your phone will run out of juice quickly
Call or email us to plan your US Open Vacation!
888-862-7668 or 704-814-6801
Michael Jeffs & Carlos McCracken