I’m pretty embarrassed not to have gone to the US Open sooner. Really. But I didn’t watch tennis that much until this year, in part because of the Olympics. So I bought a ground pass for $25, and it really is so much better than spending over $60 or $80 to watch from the nosebleeds inside Arthur Ashe. You’re much better off watching the games on television than you are inside.
What the ground pass offered: no access to Arthur Ashe, but the best seats to watch the doubles Legends Match, which this year featured Lindsay Davenport, Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, and Mary Joe Fernandez. They played on Court 17, which is smaller, more intimate, had no assigned seats, and a lively crowd that cheered on the players (who interacted with the fans in turn and signed autographs after). What better way to spend the afternoon than to watch former greats?
There were other attractions at the Open as well: the food court area which featured fantastic eats, including Fuku, Neopolitan pizza (organic, non-GMO), Korilla, Soom Soom, Hill Country BBQ, an Oyster House, and more. There was alcohol flowing everywhere thanks to the sponsors: Moët champagne, Grey Goose vodka (the promoted Honey Deuce cocktail that came in a free commemorative cup was one of the best drinks I’ve had in a while — $15, not so bad! You can even construct it yourself via Cocktail Courier). There were mojito stands next to Evian stands. Ben and Jerry’s showed up. And aside from the food, there were the other sponsors: Adidas, Fly Emirates (thanks for the hats!), and more.
There were areas specifically designated in front of Arthur Ashe that were covered to keep people out of the sun to enjoy the food. The space and seating were plenty. Fans could also come out to see ESPN’s outpost next to the stadium. You could, actually, stay to watch the tennis matches at the big court on the big screen. I opted to leave instead.
View more pictures here.