NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When the U.S. Open begins next month, weather will become much less of an issue, especially for matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium where work on a new retractable roof is nearly complete.
“We put up over 6,000 tons of steel over the last 2 1/2 years,” National Tennis Center COO Daniel Zausner said. “We’re just putting the finishing touches on it over the next 45 days and we’ll be ready for the fans to arrive come the end of August.”
With the push of a button the retractable roof can close in five to 10 minutes.
There’s a leaf on either side of the square opening. Each one moves to the center and encloses the 250-foot by 250-foot opening, Zausner said.
There a lot of moving parts.
“When we close the roof we also have 54 garage doors that close on the sides to keep all the air in,” Zausner said.
The new roof means no more Monday championships because of Sunday rainouts, which recently happened five years in a row.
“It hurt ratings on a Monday,” Zausner said.
The three-year project cost $150 million.
The U.S. Open begins Aug. 29.