Step Inside: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is home to one of the greatest tennis tournaments in the world: the US Open. Located in the Queens borough of New York City, this newly-renovated complex’s three tennis stadiums are among the largest in the world. It also offers dozens of food and drink options and a premier tennis viewing experience.

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Billie Jean King National Tennis Center History

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has been the home to the US Open since 1978. The complex was originally named the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Tennis Center, and was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006. Originally, this stadium had a total of 22 tennis courts, with the Louis Armstrong Stadium being the premier court where the US Open main matches would take place. The first US Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in 1978 brought more than 275,000 attendees, setting a new tournament record. The US Open and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center became so popular that in 1986 it was the third most-viewed televised sporting event in the world, and covered by more than 70 countries.

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center became even more of a prime tennis destination when it constructed the Arthur Ashe Stadium — the largest tennis venue in the world — in 1997. Both the Arthur Ashe Stadium and the Louis Armstrong Stadium were used simultaneously, but the main US Open event transitioned to taking place at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

In 2018, a $600 million renovation to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was completed. This renovation included adding a retractable roof to the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium, and construction of the new 14,053-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium, which also has a retractable roof. Overall, the renovation saw 85 percent of the campus undergo a redesign, with a focus on improving the experience for the players and the fans, creating a “spectacle” and making the US Open and tennis as a whole more popular.

Today, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has 22 renovated courts, including bowl seating at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and Court 17, and enjoys millions of annual attendees.

Transportation and Parking at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center highly recommends attendees use public transportation when visiting. Available public transportation includes the 7 train subway from Grand Central Terminal to Mets-Willets Point Station, and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to the Mets-Willets Point Station. Rideshare services have limited accessibility and are required to drop off passengers at the New York State Pavilion, where there is a direct walking path to the South Gate. There is also a free shuttle from the New York State Pavilion to the South Gate.

As for parking, during “conflict dates” when there’s a New York Mets home game, parking is available at the BLUE ZONE PARKING and ORANGE ZONE PARKING. On non-conflict dates, parking is available at Mets Stadium Parking and YELLOW ZONE PARKING. Parking at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is $40 for cars and $50 for buses.

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Seating Capacity and Options

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Seating varies by stadium within the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The Arthur Ashe Stadium has the most seating options and holds 23,771 spectators. Other seating options include the Louis Armstrong Stadium, which seats 14,053. The Grandstand seats 8,125 and Court 17 seats 2,800. Reserved seating and general admission options are available at all stadiums. VIP Seating is available at the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 100 and 200 level.

Related: Step Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium

Food & Beverage Options at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Food and beverage options were one of the focuses for the redesign of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Food and drink options at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center include Eataly, Emirates Sports Café, Fare by Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Fuku, Grey Goose Bars, Heineken Bar, Lavazza Café, Melt Shop, Pat LaFrieda Meat Co., US Open Club, and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.

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