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U.S. Open Drawing Record Crowds, But Fan Experience Could Suffer With Expansion
Published September 5, 2012
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE: SI.com's Bruce Jenkins wrote, "Whenever a riveting night match goes down at the Open, Arthur Ashe Stadium is a pretty cool place to be." It is an "awesome spectacle when the place is packed, with all the high-powered energy you'd expect from a New York setting." But the scene is "entirely different on weekdays." Jenkins: "How many big matches have been played this year in a half-filled (or worse) stadium?" It is a "total embarrassment, and it happens routinely, especially for matches involving the women's elite." Meanwhile, Jenkins writes, "For all the fears about Wimbledon's Centre Court roof and its assault on tradition, the indoor atmosphere has proved to be excellent. I can't even imagine a roof on the mini-planet that is Ashe Stadium. It would be like watching baseball in the old Houston Astrodome -- entirely too weird unless you're right up close to the action. Barring a decision to downsize Ashe and then consider a roof, this project is doomed" (SI.com, 9/2).
COMPARE & CONTRAST: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Carl Bialik reviews the U.S. Open under the header, "How The Open Compares To The World." The French Open "has outgrown its home, and the congestion overrides all other aspects of the fan experience." Wimbledon "was the most enjoyable, but more expensive, and tickets are scarce." U.S. Open tickets, however, are "available to the masses." Unlike the French Open, the U.S. Open has "floodlights on several of the general-admission courts," so tickets "can be good for 11 or 12 hours of tennis, albeit with a few very long waits on bathroom lines" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/5).