by Nick Giammusso, President & CEO
A good friend Joe DeCecco called me the other day and asked: “Want to go to the US Open?”. I said: “Pack your bags… Let’s Go!” We’ve been talking about going the last few years and the time was finally right for a US Open road trip.
Now I realize what makes the US Open such a cool and unique event! First it takes place in the greatest city in the world- New York!
Thank God for GPS as the highways and by-ways of New York along with it’s traffic congestion can be rather unsettling. We followed the US Open Parking signs right to Citi Field (the home of the NY Mets) which we discovered is located directly next to the US Open. For $19, we parked my car and walked along a Boardwalk to the Gates of the US Open. Wow was it ever hot! Tournament officials even considered postponing the days matches due to the sweltering heat. The thermostat on my dash read 100 degrees fahrenheit and it was way hotter on the court!!
One of my favorite pastimes is people-watching. Immediately, you look around and realize that you’re at a major unique high-end event! Mercedes-Benz was showing off one of their vehicles at the Main Entrance Gate and it was quite evident that Polo was a major, major sponsor.
That morning, I called a good contact of ours and arranged to pick-up tickets just outside the front gate. It was the second day of the tournament and we bought Courtside seats with a face-value of $275 for just $110 per ticket… what a bargain!
We entered the Main Gate and you realize that you’ve just entered a Tennis Mecca! What a place! The grounds are bustling with true Tennis Fans (I wasn’t) and the atmosphere is different from many other major sports events that I’ve been to.
The US Open Tennis Complex has Arthur Ashe Stadium which has a 24,000 seating capicity and Louis Amstrong Stadium which can accommodate 6,500. Both offer three feature matches during the day and night sessions. We settled into our Arthur Ashe Stadium Courtside seats and we were immediately struck by the beauty of the US Open light blue courts amidst the background of dark blue seats… simply beautiful! Joe and I had finally made it to the US Open! We were high-fiving one another and smiling ear-to-ear! What a high we felt inside that historic stadium.
Outside the two main US Open Stadiums there are many smaller courts with many matches going on simultaneously. From the top of the Stadium you see a sea of green and blue courts throughout the landscalpe of this huge complex.
We were treated to one Men’s singles match and one Women’s match where three Serbians competed in the first-round. The #3 ranked player in the world 39-year old Novak Djokovic defeated Victor Troicki in a great match. Jelena Jankovic, the #4 ranked women’s player in the world had a scare against the 19 year old up-and-coming Romanian Simona Halep. What a match! Although Jankovic was the better player on this day, watch out for the scrappy, feisty and passionate Simona Halep in the near future. I found myself supporting her with cheers of “Come on Simona!” between points.
Tennis fans are a considerate bunch. At times throughout the day I was struck by how quiet the fans were during match play. One fan faintly yelled during play and Djokovic took exception as he missed a shot and the Judge announced: “Out of fairness and respect to both players, please remain quiet!” What a difference from the fans at Yankees Stadium the night before. LOL At one point it was so quiet that I turned to my friend Joe and whispered “I’ll give you $100 if you scream “Let’s Go Buff-a- lo!” LOL
My first Live US Open experience and I will never forget it! I believe that everyone should get to the US Open once in their lifetime! It has turned me into a Tennis Fan as I’ve found myself looking up scores online and watching US Open Tennis on ESPN each evening since we returned from our US Open road trip. At 42, I’m even considering buying a Tennis racket and getting out there to hit some balls.
A few recommendations I would make to anyone attending the US Open…
1. Make reservations ahead of time at the Aces and Champions Bar & Grill which is located just inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. It looks like a great atmosphere of well-to-do people and the place is air conditioned!!!
2. If you want to fit in, at the very least, wear a Polo shirt and designer sun glasses! LOL My $9.99 TJ Maxx sun glasses and ‘Just Do It’ Nike t-shirt just didn’t cut it. LOL
3. Call or visit VIPTIX.com to arrange for US Open Tickets. 🙂
I can check the US Open off my list! What a great event!