The United States Tennis Association said Friday it is considering holding the U.S. Open in New York at the end of the summer in front of limited fans or possibly no fans. Those are two scenarios being weighed by the governing body of American tennis, according to Chris Widmaier, the USTA’s head of communications.
The USTA continues to model many different scenarios regarding the 2020 U.S. Open, Widmaier told Newsday in an email Friday. Our top goal is to conduct the U.S. Open in New York in our scheduled dates. To that end, we are modeling many potential scenarios which include both limited fans and potentially no fans on site for the event.
The Open is scheduled to run Aug. 24-Sept. 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, and Widmaier said the timetable for making a decision on whether or how to hold the event remains mid-June.
All actions regarding the U.S. Open will place the health and safety of everyone involved in the event, from players, to staff, to broadcast partners, etc., at the forefront of our decision-making, he said. We continue to work closely with our Medical Advisory Group and with government officials at the federal, state and City level as we build out these models.
In late March, 12 tennis courts at the Queens facility’s indoor training space were transformed into supplemental hospital space that could accommodate 470 patients. The space was never fully utilized, and the U.S. Open announced on May 14 that the hospital had been officially closed and was being disassembled and sanitized. Louis Armstrong Stadium, which had been used for meal preparations for front liners and first responders, has also been vacated.
The ATP and WTA Tours are canceled until July 13. Wimbledon has already been canceled while the French Open, which would have been taking place this week, took the unique step of pushing its event back until the week after the U.S. Open.