On one hand, I feel sorry for my good friends at That Sports Technology Company From Jacksonville, because bad weather only makes a terrible event even worse. WAY worse. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the roof of The Batcave leaks – directly onto my former desk.
A bad-weather shout-out to Lloyd, Trampass, Dingo, Cockroach, and all the other poor bastards marooned in Hell. Break out the trash cans, boys!
On the other hand, I do SO enjoy reading about USTA officials squirming and ahem-ing and haw-ing at those contentious, weather-delay press conferences. Trying to explain how they managed to spend $270 million of USTA members’ money on a poorly designed, poorly built, leaky stadium. In the midst of a blighted, violent slum. Which was obsolete before it was finished. And which remains the only Grand Slam tournament without a retractable roof (Melbourne has TWO, Wimbledon’s Centre Court has one, Roland Garros’ roof will be ready in 2011).
Answering to a bored, pissed-off, stir-crazy press corp is the yearly cross the USTA must bear for amazingly bad decision-making and incompetence.
The middle weekend is, in relative terms, the best time for a hurricane to hit The Open. If the weather has been decent for the first 4 or 5 days, the schedule collapses from 16 to 10 courts. The Juniors can wait, or they can always be farmed out to local indoor facilities. But the ticketholders get screwed. Let’s say you flew in to NY from (wherever) for Labor Day Weekend to enjoy some tennis. Odds are you’ll get back on the plane without ever having seen a ball struck, with a “rain check” for a Monday or Tuesday session you’ll never attend. If this was the Australian Open in Melbourne (by far the best tennis tournament in the world), you’d have gotten a belly full of tennis at Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, both of which have retractable roofs.
Labor Day weekend tix to the US Open are the hottest tickets in NY. This year, it looks like they may be worthless. And the USTA has nobody to blame other than themselves.