SECOND ANNUAL COMMUNITY DAY AT THE US OPEN THIS THURSDAY
TO FEATURE COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSION AND FAREWELL
CELEBRATION OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG STADIUM
James Blake and Gigi Fernandez to Headline Celebration with Exhibition Match against Top American Juniors
Select Number of Young Fans Will Have Opportunity to Hit on
Louis Armstrong Stadium for Final Time
Patrons of Community Day will Have Chance to Win Tickets to the
US Open Women’s Singles Semifinals, Held that Evening
FLUSHING, N.Y., September 6, 2016 – The USTA today announced that its second annual Community Day at the US Open on Thursday, September 8, will once again feature complimentary grounds admission to fans attending during the afternoon, with a farewell salute to Louis Armstrong Stadium headlining the Community Day festivities.
Fans enjoying complimentary admission – available from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday – will be able to see a variety of tennis on the grounds, including the Men’s and Women’s Doubles Semifinals, semifinal action in the Champions Invitational – a showcase of former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists – the third annual American Collegiate Invitational and the world’s top boys and girls competing in the US Open Junior Championships.
“The US Open has the greatest fans in the world, and we wanted to say thank you by opening the doors to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for a day of complimentary tennis on Community Day,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “We want to give all New Yorkers the opportunity to experience the highest level of the sport in person, and introduce as many people as possible to a sport that you can play for life.”
The goodbye celebration to Louis Armstrong Stadium – which will be dismantled following the 2016 US Open as part of the five-year, Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center – will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with gates to the stadium opening at 3:30 p.m. The celebration will include a number of components, including an exhibition match featuring former World No. 4 James Blake, 17-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion Gigi Fernandez and top American Juniors. With a special, four-camera set-up, this match will transform the fan experience from that of a traditional tennis match, by having each competitor select “face filters,” which will correspond with an avatar that will appear on the big screens. Their movement throughout the court will then be able to be viewed in live action on the playing surface, or in a digital sense on the big screens in the stadium.
Following the celebration, select fans age 8-12 will then have the opportunity to hit on the court of Louis Armstrong Stadium for one last time, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (fans will be selected based on a first-come-first-served basis).
In addition, throughout the day and around the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a select number of fans will be randomly awarded tickets to the Women’s Singles Semifinals, which will be held later that evening.
Following in the footsteps of the exhibition competitors, fans in attendance will also be able to compete against one another in “Crowd Volley” and “Crowd Pong” digital competitions. For these, the stadium will be split into two teams, with each facing off against the other. In “Crowd Volley” fans will control their ability by the volume of the applause, while in “Crowd Pong” the standing/sitting movement of their bodies will affect the movement on the screen.
Fans in attendance will also be treated to a skills competition featuring some of the greatest tennis trick shot artists in the world, including Pablo Schurig, Christina Serpa and Josh Horton. Lucky fans will be chosen from the audience, to attempt to replicate these shots, as well.
Grammy-nominated DJ, RAC, will be mixing throughout the event, incorporating the sounds of the US Open into the experience, utilizing audio he has recorded throughout the grounds and the stadium, in addition to prerecorded music.
Initially built as the Singer Bowl for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, it was renamed Louis Armstrong Stadium in 1973, to honor the influential musician and vocalist. It served as the original centerpiece of the USTA National Tennis Center when it opened in 1978 and remained so for 19 years, until the expansion of the facility and the opening of Arthur Ashe Stadium in 1997. After Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras won the US Open singles championships there in 1996, Louis Armstrong Stadium became the facility’s No. 2 show court. The new Louis Armstrong stadium will make its debut at the 2018 US Open.
For more information on USTA youth programming, please go to youthtennis.com.