Just in time for the U.S. Open, the U.S. Tennis Association shows off a new, retractable roof for the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
SHOWS: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 2, 2016) (USTA - ACCESS ALL) 1. TENNIS CHAMPION BILLIE JEAN KING HITTING BUTTON TO OPEN ROOF 2. ROOF OPENING (MUTE) 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TENNIS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, KATRINA ADAMS, SAYING: "Uh oh. Did I just feel rain? Well guess what, that does not matter anymore. The 2016 U.S. Open will truly be historic, with a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, a brand new grand stand stadium, and of course, a completely transformed campus, truly a brand new site." 4. ARTHUR ASHE'S WIDOW JEANNE ASHE TRYING THE ROOF BUTTON 5. SPEEDED-UP VIEW OF ROOF OPENING (MUTE) STORY: The U.S. Open tennis championship showed off a new $150 million (USD) retractable roof that will keep Arthur Ashe Stadium main court dry on Tuesday (August 2). Sometimes the U.S. Open has had days without any tennis played at all because of rain, or incurred the expensive option of extending the tournament by an extra day to stage the final. More often rain delays have inconvenienced the spectators and forced sudden changes in the schedule. Organisers of the year's final grand slam championship hope the new roof will solve those problems at a stroke. Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King, after whom the National Tennis Center complex is named, hit the button to trigger the opening. The roof, moving at the rate of 25 feet (7.5 meters) per minute, can open or close the top of the giant stadium in 5 minutes 12 seconds. Jeanne Ashe, wife of the late champion after whom the stadium is named, also tried her hand at opening the stadium roof. The new covering leaves the French Open as the only slam without a retractable roof, a situation they hope to remedy by 2020. Besides keeping the court, players and spectators dry, the shape of the roof seems to have cut down the swirling wind that has often vexed players in the past. Other improvements in place for this year's tournament include a new 8,000-seat Grandstand Court and boulevards through the grounds made 40-feet wider to ease walking between courts.