Saturday September 30, 2023

The U.S. Open Keeps Breaking Attendance Records

  • Less than a week into the main draw, three single-day attendance records set
  • Robust draw a powerful confluence of multiple facility, scheduling factors
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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There is seemingly no limit to tennis fans’ fever for what is already the sport’s most lucrative major.

Less than one week into the main draw of the 2023 U.S. Open, the tournament has already set three single-day attendance records — and remains on track to surpass last year’s record-setting total draw of 776,120.

Monday’s single-day attendance of 72,957 set a tournament record that lasted only 48 hours, as Wednesday’s total hit 73,007. That record fell, too, with Thursday’s 73,201.

They Built It, They’re Coming

The impressive figures are no accident. 

The 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis stadium in the world, now features a roof to allow for continuous play, as does its companion, the 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

And though its notoriously long-running night sessions have drawn criticism from fans and players alike, the tournament structure is specifically designed to boost tennis’ accessibility to mass audiences.

The ongoing attendance figures follow a record draw of more than 150,000 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the Aug. 22-27 U.S. Open Fan Week, which included qualifying competition. That figure is a 41% increase from a 2022 attendance that had also set an event record.

The fan turnout is helping support a $65 million U.S. Open prize pool, the largest of tennis’ four majors — and which is set for a further increase in 2024. 

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