10. The stadiums are awful. USTA spent $270 million on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was obsolete before it was built, it’s in the middle of one of the worst slums in New York City, the sight lines are awful, it leaks like a sieve, and it is directly under the flight path for not one but two of the busiest airports in the world (La Guardia and JFK). Louis Armstrong stadium and The Grandstand were built in the 1950s, and they weren’t even built as tennis stadiums (the Armstrong/Grandstand complex was originally called The Singer Bowl and was built as a concert venue for the World’s Fair), so the crowd flows are downright dangerous, the whole complex is an armpit, and the place is falling apart.
There is no roof – retractable or otherwise – on Arthur Ashe stadium, which forces the entire event into chaos when the weather is bad.
In contrast, the Australian Open facility in Melbourne Park is the best tennis facility in the world, it has TWO stadiums with convertible roofs (Rod Laver Arena & Vodafone Arena), a top-notch corporate hospitality / convention center, and the entire facility was built for less than $80 million. Working at the Australian Open, which I have done every January since 1992, is a treat. Working at the US Open, which I have done every August since 1988, is torture.