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Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?

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Offline DirtyKash

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Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« on: September 12, 2009, 10:25:33 AM »
Johnny Mac says yes.



Updated: September 12, 2009, 1:10 AM ET

McEnroe: Erect a roof over Arthur Ashe
Reuters

NEW YORK -- John McEnroe said the U.S. Tennis Association can't be serious about going much longer without a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Friday's unrelenting rain drowned any hope of seeing a racket raised in competition on Day 12 at the National Tennis Center, sending the final weekend of the hardcourt major into chaos for a second year in a row.

"Certainly today is a damn shame," four-time Open champion and TV announcer John McEnroe said in a telephone interview as he was leaving the complex after the lost day at Flushing Meadows.

The resumption of Rafael Nadal's quarterfinal against Fernando Gonzalez was washed away as were both of the women's semifinals.

Foul weather and the Open's unique scheduling for the final weekend leave no margin for error, and forced a Monday men's title tilt for the second year running.

McEnroe, 50, said he had lobbied U.S. Tennis Association officials from the start to put a roof over massive Arthur Ashe Stadium when it was built to replace Louis Armstrong Stadium in 1997 as the tournament's main stage.

"It seemed like a no-brainer but people at the USTA decided they wanted to build the biggest [stadium]," McEnroe said about the 23,000-seat Ashe building.

"But at the same price they could've had a slightly smaller stadium and had a roof."

Officials spoke last year about studies it had done to add a $100 million retractable roof but no plan to move forward has been announced. The Australian Open and Wimbledon employ roofs, and the French Open has plans for one in the near future.

"My idea was for utilizing it not only when it rains but to allow for stadium use year round, and for other things, like have some kind of tennis academy and have kids stay there.

"You could have people living in those [corporate] boxes, for example. Seemed like a great thing.

"Or have rock concerts and other things there to get more income generated for the kids."

McEnroe knew the arguments against but was not swayed.

"I know they say it doesn't rain as much here in New York as it does in London, for example," he said.

"But now they're in a big hole, because they have the biggest [tennis] stadium in the world and the expense to build it [roof] is so big that they don't want to lay it out."

Weather has fouled up recent match scheduling.

In 2006, a total of six sessions were washed out including two full days of play. Last year, Roger Federer waited until Monday to claim his fifth successive Open crown and the women played their final on Sunday.

Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 10:32:12 AM »
This is no-brainer. After the last two years, it would definitely help a situation like this.  Those who make the claim that "this is rare event and it never happens!" need just look towards this week as an example of what happens when poor scheduling is combined with bad weather.  Not to mention two of the other Slams have it while the French are supposedly getting their roof but not until the new stadium is built there.  If they are doing it, what is stopping the U.S. Open from getting one? 
Also, Roger is also a proponent of this idea, while Roddick says it is unnecessary since the bad weather hasn't happened that often.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 10:40:00 AM »
At this point I think it's cost prohibitive.

I do like Mac's idea of building a slightly smaller stadium with a roof.
This would have helped with U.S. Open scheduling and provided other opportunities for stadium use as he mentioned.

Seems pretty obvious to me.
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Offline DirtyKash

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 10:44:04 AM »
Maybe they could just put a roof over the Grandstand. It's not as big so it wouldn't require as big of a roof, therefore not that expensive. And it would allow tennis to be played and would appease tv networks and viewers.

Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 10:47:45 AM »
At this point I think it's cost prohibitive.

I do like Mac's idea of building a slightly smaller stadium with a roof.
This would have helped with U.S. Open scheduling and provided other opportunities for stadium use as he mentioned.

Seems pretty obvious to me.


Any genuine information to back this claim up? :Confused:

Anways, if Wimbledon can get a roof installed on its original Centre Court with demolishing everything (which was a great feat), then there is no reason that the USTA cannot do the same to Arthur Ashe. 
Money issues?  :rofl_2:
Take a look at how many sponsors the U.S. Open has and you can tell from the various insignias that are lined in the siding and the netting of the show courts at the Open that they are in no financial trouble.  They have the most sponsor tags of any Slam and not to mention record attendance numbers yet again (as of last week). Money is NOT an issue.

A quote from an article released yesterday about this same issue:

In 2008, USTA chief executive Arlen Kantarian conceded of a prospective roof over cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, "I would say at this point it's a question of when as opposed to if."

Citing three feasibility studies, Kantarian said, "Our board has approved taking this concept to a more serious construction-planning stage, cost estimates, and we're in a position, unlike three years ago, where we feel this tournament would require a roof."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4465396


Offline monstertruck

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 11:11:24 AM »
$100 Mill is a lot of Coin to remodel a recently built structure.  Financially irresponsible if you ask me, hence cost prohibitive.

You need only look back 6 years to find financial trouble within the USTA. 
They ran in the red for 3 or 4 years around 2002 if I remember right and finally turned it around in 2004-5.

A roof over the Grandstand would certainly satisfy the requirement of having a covered court for maintaining scheduling integrity.

Can you tell I'm a fiscal conservative? :)) ;-()
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Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 11:22:11 AM »
$100 Mill is a lot of Coin to remodel a recently built structure.  Financially irresponsible if you ask me, hence cost prohibitive.

You need only look back 6 years to find financial trouble within the USTA. 
They ran in the red for 3 or 4 years around 2002 if I remember right and finally turned it around in 2004-5.

A roof over the Grandstand would certainly satisfy the requirement of having a covered court for maintaining scheduling integrity.

Can you tell I'm a fiscal conservative? :)) ;-()

Nobody said it would be cheap.  The USTA should have realized this when they first were starting (highlighted in the opening article of this thread) to build this stadium.  They opted to go with the biggest stadium out there and not think about what may happen in the future.  Wimbledon spend greater than 100 million on their roof.  USTA can definitely afford to spend 100 million. How much do they take in from the Open each year? 

Offline Bazcovic

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 11:23:02 AM »
At this point I think it's cost prohibitive.

I do like Mac's idea of building a slightly smaller stadium with a roof.
This would have helped with U.S. Open scheduling and provided other opportunities for stadium use as he mentioned.

Seems pretty obvious to me.


Any genuine information to back this claim up? :Confused:

Anways, if Wimbledon can get a roof installed on its original Centre Court with demolishing everything (which was a great feat), then there is no reason that the USTA cannot do the same to Arthur Ashe. 
Money issues?  :rofl_2:
Take a look at how many sponsors the U.S. Open has and you can tell from the various insignias that are lined in the siding and the netting of the show courts at the Open that they are in no financial trouble.  They have the most sponsor tags of any Slam and not to mention record attendance numbers yet again (as of last week). Money is NOT an issue.

A quote from an article released yesterday about this same issue:

In 2008, USTA chief executive Arlen Kantarian conceded of a prospective roof over cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, "I would say at this point it's a question of when as opposed to if."

Citing three feasibility studies, Kantarian said, "Our board has approved taking this concept to a more serious construction-planning stage, cost estimates, and we're in a position, unlike three years ago, where we feel this tournament would require a roof."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4465396




All the sponsors and visitors mean very little.
I bet that they need all the visitors and sponsors to keep up with all the loans and liabilities, not to forget the prize money.

There are hardly any companies who have 100M dollar on the bank, except for Microsoft and some other monopolists, I guess.
If there is one thing that the Americans did prove last year, it's that they are very good at spending money they don't have.


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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 12:07:03 PM »
Of course.
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Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 12:12:42 PM »
At this point I think it's cost prohibitive.

I do like Mac's idea of building a slightly smaller stadium with a roof.
This would have helped with U.S. Open scheduling and provided other opportunities for stadium use as he mentioned.

Seems pretty obvious to me.


Any genuine information to back this claim up? :Confused:

Anways, if Wimbledon can get a roof installed on its original Centre Court with demolishing everything (which was a great feat), then there is no reason that the USTA cannot do the same to Arthur Ashe. 
Money issues?  :rofl_2:
Take a look at how many sponsors the U.S. Open has and you can tell from the various insignias that are lined in the siding and the netting of the show courts at the Open that they are in no financial trouble.  They have the most sponsor tags of any Slam and not to mention record attendance numbers yet again (as of last week). Money is NOT an issue.

A quote from an article released yesterday about this same issue:

In 2008, USTA chief executive Arlen Kantarian conceded of a prospective roof over cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, "I would say at this point it's a question of when as opposed to if."

Citing three feasibility studies, Kantarian said, "Our board has approved taking this concept to a more serious construction-planning stage, cost estimates, and we're in a position, unlike three years ago, where we feel this tournament would require a roof."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4465396




All the sponsors and visitors mean very little.
I bet that they need all the visitors and sponsors to keep up with all the loans and liabilities, not to forget the prize money.

There are hardly any companies who have 100M dollar on the bank, except for Microsoft and some other monopolists, I guess.
If there is one thing that the Americans did prove last year, it's that they are very good at spending money they don't have.




This is defintely NOT true.  The sponsors mean little to the tournament? :rofl_2:
Yea, that is why there are so many at the U.S. Open.  Makes so much sense.  If they mean so little why not have two sponsors or none at all?
Also, visitors mean little?  :rofl_2:
The U.S. Open's biggest payday is the Super Saturday (and then Sunday) fiasco where the tickets are outrageously priced.  They make a killing off those two days.  The rest of tournament matters in terms of attendance.  They also probably get some donations and maybe support from the government although not too sure of this.

Offline BGT

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2009, 03:49:26 PM »
Yes, this has turned into a nightmare. At least Rafa got his quarterfinal done.



Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 04:18:41 PM »
We have this discussion every year...
Be the change that you seek.

Online Babblelot

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2009, 04:40:34 PM »
Maybe they could just put a roof over the Grandstand. It's not as big so it wouldn't require as big of a roof, therefore not that expensive. And it would allow tennis to be played and would appease tv networks and viewers.

That would be an excellent idea and could be ready by 2010, BUT they'd still have to cover Ashe since Grandstand only seats about 5,000. Because of its configuation, it really can't get much larger. But 2 feature courts with roofs, like they do down under, is the way to go. After they find the financing for a roof, it's still years off. But it's great to hear Arlen Kantarian say it's only a matter of when.

Btw, even if they had a roof on Grandstand, it wouldn't have salvaged this weekend. No way would they put the semis and finals on Grandstand.

The roof didn't come into play at Wimby this year since it was a dry summer. But Wimby has a unique problem, and it has nothing to do with rain. You can play a hundred matches a day on a single hard or clay court, but how many matches do you want played on Centre Court? Not many more than they play now because the grass will just get torn up. Wimby may be installing a second roof about the time the USO gets a lid on Ashe.
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Offline Lugburz

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2009, 05:10:04 PM »
You say it's to expensive for you Americans  :confused1:
Well cut the budget for military operations and invest in sport and space adventures !

What's it like, 300 billions for wars and sh!t,  17 millions for NASA, so, are WE going forward or backwards ? :dunno:
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 05:12:34 PM by Lugburz »
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Offline TheEternalCowboy

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2009, 05:45:21 PM »
You say it's to expensive for you Americans  :confused1:
Well cut the budget for military operations and invest in sport and space adventures !

What's it like, 300 billions for wars and sh!t,  17 millions for NASA, so, are WE going forward or backwards ? :dunno:

Contrary to what people may have you believing, the government is not passing out money left and right for reasons as frivolous as tennis stadium remodeling. 


Offline Lugburz

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2009, 05:49:53 PM »
You say it's to expensive for you Americans  :confused1:
Well cut the budget for military operations and invest in sport and space adventures !

What's it like, 300 billions for wars and sh!t,  17 millions for NASA, so, are WE going forward or backwards ? :dunno:

Contrary to what people may have you believing, the government is not passing out money left and right for reasons as frivolous as tennis stadium remodeling. 



probably true, but if the USA can't afford it ,who can ? Only money from the USO in several years,here and there should cover the price.
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Offline TheEternalCowboy

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2009, 05:54:43 PM »
Any genuine information to back this claim up? :Confused:

Anways, if Wimbledon can get a roof installed on its original Centre Court with demolishing everything (which was a great feat), then there is no reason that the USTA cannot do the same to Arthur Ashe
Money issues?   :rofl_2:
Take a look at how many sponsors the U.S. Open has and you can tell from the various insignias that are lined in the siding and the netting of the show courts at the Open that they are in no financial trouble.  They have the most sponsor tags of any Slam and not to mention record attendance numbers yet again (as of last week). Money is NOT an issue.

A quote from an article released yesterday about this same issue:

In 2008, USTA chief executive Arlen Kantarian conceded of a prospective roof over cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, "I would say at this point it's a question of when as opposed to if."

Citing three feasibility studies, Kantarian said, "Our board has approved taking this concept to a more serious construction-planning stage, cost estimates, and we're in a position, unlike three years ago, where we feel this tournament would require a roof."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4465396




That's an apples to oranges comparison.  Just because Center Court and Arthor Ashe are both stadiums doesn't make difficulty of engineering comparable.  The base architecture is completely different.  

Regarding the money issue, I was listening to US Open radio at the Open today and the USTA people said that they decided to spend the money on development of US tennis overall, rather than the construction of a roof that would only be used during one period of the year.  It seems like US tennis has been making strides as of late, so maybe it's been working out for them.  

All that said, I agree that they do need a roof.  There are always other considerations however.  It's not as clear-cut as the USTA not having brains, the brains are just scattered.


Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2009, 06:00:27 PM »
You say it's to expensive for you Americans  :confused1:
Well cut the budget for military operations and invest in sport and space adventures !

What's it like, 300 billions for wars and sh!t,  17 millions for NASA, so, are WE going forward or backwards ? :dunno:

Contrary to what people may have you believing, the government is not passing out money left and right for reasons as frivolous as tennis stadium remodeling. 



True, but it is ridiculous to suggest that the U.S. Open does not have the money to build one.  If Wimbledon can build that cost at least 130 million dollars on a court as old as Centre Court, there is no reason one cannot be built on Ashe.  The engineering feat to build a roof over Centre Court was incredible without destroying the stadium in the process.  

Offline tain316

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2009, 06:05:20 PM »
Any genuine information to back this claim up? :Confused:

Anways, if Wimbledon can get a roof installed on its original Centre Court with demolishing everything (which was a great feat), then there is no reason that the USTA cannot do the same to Arthur Ashe.  
Money issues?   :rofl_2:
Take a look at how many sponsors the U.S. Open has and you can tell from the various insignias that are lined in the siding and the netting of the show courts at the Open that they are in no financial trouble.  They have the most sponsor tags of any Slam and not to mention record attendance numbers yet again (as of last week). Money is NOT an issue.

A quote from an article released yesterday about this same issue:

In 2008, USTA chief executive Arlen Kantarian conceded of a prospective roof over cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, "I would say at this point it's a question of when as opposed to if."

Citing three feasibility studies, Kantarian said, "Our board has approved taking this concept to a more serious construction-planning stage, cost estimates, and we're in a position, unlike three years ago, where we feel this tournament would require a roof."

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4465396




That's an apples to oranges comparison.  Just because Center Court and Arthor Ashe are both stadiums doesn't make difficulty of engineering comparable.  The base architecture is completely different.  

Regarding the money issue, I was listening to US Open radio at the Open today and the USTA people said that they decided to spend the money on development of US tennis overall, rather than the construction of a roof that would only be used during one period of the year.  It seems like US tennis has been making strides as of late, so maybe it's been working out for them.  

All that said, I agree that they do need a roof.  There are always other considerations however.  It's not as clear-cut as the USTA not having brains, the brains are just scattered.




The base architecture may be different, but that doesn't mean a roof cannot be constructed.  As the chief executive of the USTA said, it isn't of matter of if but when so that is all one needs to understand about this issue.  Unfortunately, the USTA is behind the other Slams in this respect.
Also, the notion that building the roof will only lead to it being used once in a year is false and Johnny Mac himself noted various ways they could make use of the roof other than for the Open.  He specifically said the following in an interview conducted yesterday by Reuters:

"My idea was for utilising it not only when it rains but to allow for stadium use year round, and for other things, like have some kind of tennis academy and have kids stay there.

"You could have people living in those (corporate) boxes, for example. Seemed like a great thing.

"Or have rock concerts and other things there to get more income generated for the kids."
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« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 06:06:29 PM by tain316 »

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Should the U.S. Open get a retractable roof?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2009, 06:52:52 PM »
$100 Mill is a lot of Coin to remodel a recently built structure.  Financially irresponsible if you ask me, hence cost prohibitive.

You need only look back 6 years to find financial trouble within the USTA. 
They ran in the red for 3 or 4 years around 2002 if I remember right and finally turned it around in 2004-5.

A roof over the Grandstand would certainly satisfy the requirement of having a covered court for maintaining scheduling integrity.

Can you tell I'm a fiscal conservative? :)) ;-()

Nobody said it would be cheap.  The USTA should have realized this when they first were starting (highlighted in the opening article of this thread) to build this stadium.  They opted to go with the biggest stadium out there and not think about what may happen in the future.  Wimbledon spend greater than 100 million on their roof.  USTA can definitely afford to spend 100 million. How much do they take in from the Open each year? 
Agreed on part one.
Agree on part two, but will they 'choose' to spend 100 Mill?
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