Back to normal? US Open will have 100% fan capacity
With the New York area continuing to reopen, the US Open tennis tournament is set to allow 100 per cent spectator capacity throughout its two-week schedule beginning late August. Last year spectators were not allowed to attend the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US Tennis Association announced on Thursday (June 17) that all tickets for courts and grounds passes will go on sale in July, agencies reported.
The year’s last Grand Slam tournament is scheduled at Flushing Meadows in New York from August 30 to September 12.
The USTA’s decision to return to its usual number of people on-site is the latest step in a return to normal for New York and for fans of various sports as the world emerges from more than a year of COVID curbs.
On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said many of the state’s remaining social distancing rules would be eased because 70 per cent of its adults have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. The New York Mets announced on June 16 they will return to full capacity next week.
A sellout crowd of 52,078 attended a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on June 16 night. The Indianapolis 500 on May 30 sold around 135,000 tickets, which is 40 per cent of the capacity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The US Open will be the first Grand Slam tournament to have full attendance since the Australian Open in January-February 2020 shortly before the coronavirus outbreak turned into a full-blown pandemic.
The USTA held the 2020 US Open with no spectators at all, significantly altering the atmosphere and the competitive conditions at an event where raucous crowds are a part of the scenery, especially during night sessions at 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium. More than 700,000 people attended the 2019 US Open.
The recently concluded French Open let more than 5,000 spectators into the Roland Garros grounds each day during Week 1, and that rose to more than 13,000 people by the end. The main stadium, Court Philippe Chatrier, was limited to 5,000 fans about a third of capacity for the singles finals last weekend.
Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic – the first time since 1945.