U.S. Open Attendance Up From '16; USTA Earns Roughly $125M In Ticket Revenue
The two weeks of the U.S. Open drew 691,143 fans to Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this year, up from 688,542 fans last year, which was the event’s lowest mark since '11. The '15 event in Flushing Meadows drew 691,280 fans, while the tournament in '14 was the last to draw over 700,000 (713,026). Prior to '15, the U.S. Open had 26 sessions, whereas the event now has 24 sessions. (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Daniel Kaplan reports the USTA took in roughly $125M in ticket revenue from this year's U.S. Open, up 8-9% from the year before and "again a record" even with "two fewer sessions." The USTA attributes some of the gain to the "ticket landscaping that the Open undertook: increasing premium-seat prices on average" 25%, but cutting them for 53% of the 23,771 seats in the main stadium. The USTA "cut those ticket prices in part to keep the event affordable" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/11 issue).
HARD DAY'S NIGHT: In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote the U.S. Open has to "take a hard look at the way it schedules its night program by next year." The "idea that three matches ending" at 2:00am ET at this year's tournament is "good for business is dumber than a bag of hammers." Lupica: "I keep hearing all this gushing about how 'electric' the late-night atmosphere is at the Open. Really?" The USTA also has to "do better with the day sessions" just so fans who have "paid those ridiculous prices to come be a part of ... all the electricity, don’t have to wait outside for an hour or more while the last long match of the day session is being completed." The scheduling this year was "as bad as it’s ever been, and that is saying plenty" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/10).