Thursday August 15, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. Open rain delays at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be no more by 2017.
The Grand Slam tournament's center court could be covered by a retractable roof as soon as the 2016 tournament, but more likely the following year, U.S. Tennis Association officials said Thursday.
As the men's final was delayed to Monday each of the last five years, they had insisted a roof wasn't yet feasible financially or structurally. A decade after the USTA started studying the issue and three years after architectural firm Rossetti began researching the project, the price tag and the technology are finally workable. The construction will cost about $100 million, down from earlier projections of $200 million.
The U.S. Open becomes the last of the four major tournaments to cover up. The main stadiums at Wimbledon and the Australian Open already have roofs, and the French Open plans one, too.
The Ashe roof is part of a larger, $550 million project to rebuild and expand other courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. No. 2 stadium Louis Armstrong also will eventually be covered.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press