Saturday, September 3, 2011

Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadiums (Queens): US Open

I spent a marvelous day yesterday at the US Open.  The weather was glorious, the play was top notch (and nail biting), and the food was even pretty good (although pricey).  The Official US Open website can provide you with schedules, stadium seating availability, and links to Ticketmaster where you can purchase tickets starting at $75, but if you also want to risk it, there are many folks to just go and buy tickets from people getting off the subway just before you enter the secured area.  Please be wary of such sales, as there are counterfeit tickets!

I had fantastic reserved seats in the third row, dead center in the Louis Armstrong Stadium thanks to a good friend who scored them from her company (do individuals buy 2nd round tickets at $150 a pop?).  We had great views of the Men's Single match of Americans 28th ranked John Isner (see the 6'9" winner at right) v. Robby Ginepri (John won handily 6-4, 6-3, and 6-4).

Then we saw Britain's 4th ranked Andy Murray (see left) v. Netherland's Robin Haase.  The second match was incredibly suspenseful and exciting, and after 2 sets where it looked like he would lose, Andy ultimately prevailed (6-7 in a tiebreaker, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, and 6-4) in a huge comeback from behind.

In between, games, we took breaks to get food (there was Mexican, Indian, pizza, typical stadium snacks like pretzels and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, beers, frozen cocktails, and sodas).  The quality was surprisingly good, but the prices did not surprise (if on a budget, you may want to bring in your own snacks, which seemed to be plentiful around us).  Souvenirs were also plentiful, from Ralph Lauren (the official uniform creator for all the ball boys/girls and referees), to Wilson and US Open branded baseball caps, and, of course, the giant tennis balls (extra large ones are $40 each) which are ideal for kids collecting autographs (see right). 

It is easy to get here; take the #7 subway to the same stop as for Shea Stadium and you're just a 5 minute walk to the entrance gates of the US Open .  All in all, it is great fun to spend an afternoon or evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium (and of course there are lots of other smaller numbered courts as well).  There is an amusement park kind of feeling to the place, and if the weather is cooperative, it is a phenomenal experience. 

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