By Lisa Thomas
Take a guess at what is the most highly attended sporting event in the world. Maybe you’re thinking Super Bowl, Indy 500 or perhaps the Kentucky Derby. And all of these were very popular with estimates of over 82,000, 350,000 and 165,000 fans, respectively, turning out to cheer and enjoy these exciting sporting spectaculars.
None, however come close to the 14 days of the US Open, the year’s final Grand Slam which begins on Monday. Last year there were 713,026 people in attendance making it the most attended annual sporting event in the world. Granted with an extra 13 days to welcome fans the US Open has an advantage over one-day events. However what a great story that one long event can attract year after year these types of numbers. And really it’s no surprise when it comes to what many consider the greatest tennis event in the world.
And why does it attract so many? The devoted tennis fan and the sports junkie alike, everyone seems to come out to watch the best play, one of the best games in one of the best cities.
- It’s New York After all:
Federer was quoted in the Telegraph as saying, “I always feel super happy when I arrive in New York, but not too happy when I leave.” After all New York has everything, shopping, theatre, great food and world-renowned galleries. Rafa apparently is a big Broadway fan with around 7 performances of Phantom of the Opera under his belt. Wozniacki loves the food with NY eating institutions like Mr. Chow and Cipriani on her must do list.
For the fans it’s all there 24/7 from all the great food selections at Flushing Meadows to great entertainment and energy back in Manhattan after an exciting day of matches.
Legends of the game rub shoulders with celebrities and the who’s who of New York at the US Open. Last year one of the highlights was watching Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake dance in the stands to Beyonce during the change over (pictured at right). Other staples are Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper and of course American Vogue Editor and good friend of Serena Williams, Anna Wintour who is often in the company of some interesting and good looking celebrities.
- It Attracts the Best:
Flushing Meadows hosts a legendary tournament that seems to bring out the best in all its competitors. Many of the players will suggest that playing in New York is the highlight of their season and the quality of play often reflects this.
For the fan there is ample opportunity to see some truly inspiring tennis. Sitting in the Ashe stadium in the evening with its new retractable roof is sure to be a highlight. However it can be a costly and sometimes challenging experience to arrange and doesn’t always afford the best view in the 23,700 seat venue. There are another 16 courts that give the fan some real chances to see great play up close. It may not be the top ten that you see on every court but it will be world-class tennis played by many of the who’s who in the game.
2016 marks the 136th edition of the US Open Tennis Tournament. Once again it will be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and it promises to be just as big and just as exciting. We’ve got former champions headlining the men’s and women’s seeds, veterans returning to make a place in history and a few pivotal tests ahead for some of its former champions. With this type of action it’s no wonder New York’s tournament is the most attended annual sporting event in the world.