Wimbledon is over, which means tennis fan’s attention is now on The US Open, just six weeks away. If you’re planning to be there, many great hospitality and entertainment options are still available. The recent USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center’s 600-Million-dollar renovation is complete and includes a retractable roof on both Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadium, allowing 40,000 tennis fans to enjoy matches in inclement weather. In the meantime, Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber, 2018 Wimbledon Champions, are both expected to compete and try to win yet another major championship.
Included in the Tennis Center’s renovations were many new luxury suites as well as club seating area’s and social spaces, as VIP hospitality at sporting events in the new millennium takes a turn for the better. New social spaces and club seating are both beautiful and functional and include amenities like indoor and outdoor dining, open bars, comfortable lounge areas and modern open design that encourages mingling, networking and social interaction. One of these new spaces, the 1968 room, is named in honor of this year’s 50th anniversary of the US Open which started in 1968. The champion that year was none other than the legendary American, Aurthur Ashe, for whom the main tennis stadium is named.
The official ticket source for the US Open is Ticketmaster, but for corporations or individuals looking for hospitality options, go right to the source. The US open website has a section devoted to hospitality and it is professionally done and easy to navigate – just what we would expect from the US Open. Excellent photos of the facilities are also displayed. You can also contact Steve Fergal’s International Tennis Tours, the official package provider for The US Open.
There are three categories of event spaces to consider. There is your traditional luxury suites with private space and seating for 20 people. Next you have club seating in The Overlook, which is not in the stadium, but overlooking the grounds of the tennis center and meant to be combined with a ticket in one of the stadiums. Finally, you have The American Express Center Court Club, an open concept social space within Arthur Ashe Stadium with lounge seating, an open bar and all the other amenities you would expect – but including seating and a view from the balcony of all the action.
Luxury Suites are the most well-known of high-end hospitality options. These are the plush, private lounges that surround the stadium itself and include some of the best seats overlooking the matches. These are what most people think of when thinking of hospitality at sports events. They include 20 tickets, plus 2 for a staff or host and include prime viewing inside the stadium, food and beverage, private ensuite restrooms combined with a lounge area with flat screen monitors to keep track of the action.
The suites are available for the entire tournament or on a per-session basis. The tournament lasts for two weeks with two sessions on most days – so there are many options to choose from. Of course, the men’s and Women’s final are the most sought after of these sessions and the most expensive – $96.000 plus Food and Beverage for each day. However, other sessions start as low as $16, 000 for the first day of the open and $20,500 to $65,000 for other days. Remember when budgeting – food and beverage is additional. If you wanted to splurge, you can get the entire final weekend for $250,000.
While luxury suites are the most sought after and prestigious of spaces they also have their limitations. If you are hosting a larger group, than you need another option. The same applies if you are only planning to host a party of say 6 to 12 since in the suites you pay for all 20 seats whether you use them or not. In either case, the various event spaces, or social spaces, are your next option.
The newest of hospitality design across sports facilities nationwide are the social spaces that combine the ambiance of a lounge or nightclub with the thrill and excitement of attending the event. These spaces combine all the amenities of the suite experience – lounges, flat screens and food and beverage service – with the open area concept conducive to networking, mingling and meeting new people. The food and beverage options are often included, making budgeting easier, and they are sold on a per-seat basis – so you only pay for what you need.
As mentioned, within the stadium itself you have The American Express Center Court Club. Like the name suggests this an open concept design that also has a balcony for viewing the matches. It has all the usual luxuries and amenities including an open bar, food, lounge seating and flat screen monitors to keep track of the matches. It holds a total of 68 people, unfortunately I have been informed that it is sold out for the 2018 Open. However, cancellations do happen so feel free to inquire about it when contacting the hospitality sales team. If nothing else, perhaps you can reserve a spot for 2019.
Finally, there is The Overlook – a lounge and social space located outside the stadium in an area overlooking the tennis center grounds. This is meant to be combined with a stadium seat and be used before the matches or between the matches as a gathering place to wine, dine, mix and mingle. Your seat can be in either Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium and it also has all the requisite amenities and includes both indoor and outdoor space.
Per seat prices at The Overlook range from $600 to $2400 and includes a seat in one of the stadiums and access to the grounds. The $2400 ticket is for the Men’s Final on September 9th in Arthur Ashe. During the earlier sessions, matches are held on numerous courts throughout the grounds, and coming across a great match between future stars is one of the highlights of attending the open.
The 1968 Room is an extension of The Overlook, but with a more private setting and upscale ambiance. Prices reflect that and range from $1200 to $5800 per ticket.