The U.S. Open is seeing a surge in demand for high-end experiences as it hosts the end of one of tennis’ most storied careers.
New “Courtside Premier” ticket packages are becoming a hot item. The program was launched last year by the US Tennis Association and Elevate Sports Ventures, a sports experiences company backed by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Arctos Sports Partners.
- Ticket packages can top $10,000 for certain matches.
- In addition to courtside seats, the packages include food, beverages, and the chance to meet retired champions including Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, and Lindsay Davenport.
- Hotels are charging inflated prices during the tournament.
Kirsten Corio, the USTA’s chief commercial officer, told Bloomberg that packages have been bought by cryptocurrency and luxury goods companies, among others.
The USTA is expecting $50 million in revenue from courtside seats and certain suites and mezzanine seats.
Serena’s Swan Song
Serena Williams has said she will retire from competitive tennis following the U.S. Open and focus on her business endeavors. She won her first match of the tournament in straight sets Monday night.
Her announcement caused a 40% jump in ticket prices on StubHub. Tickets were already hitting prices 60% above last year.
The legend’s VC firm, Serena Ventures, has invested in more than 60 startups, 16 of which are valued above $1 billion. She is also part-owner of the Miami Dolphins and Angel City FC.
She made $35.1 million in the last year, per Forbes, nearly all of which came from off-court earnings.