The biggest tennis stadium in the United States, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has been temporarily converted into a hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than 450 beds have been laid down in the stadium and around 25,000 people are fed inside the stadium. With escalating cases of COVID-19 in New York, US Open 2020 getting underway in Big Apple is unlikely.
According to the Spanish publication MARCA, the fourth Grand Slam of the year might be moved to Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California. The venue hosts America’s second-biggest tennis tournament, BNP Paribas Open. Earlier in March this year, the event was canceled due to one coronavirus confirmed case in Coachella Valley, Palm Springs area. It was the first tennis tournament to be canceled in 2020.
The Californian desert tournament is home to 29 tennis hard-courts. The center-court bears a capacity to seat 16,100 people, which makes it the second-largest tennis stadium in the world.
The Flushing Meadows Slam has been scheduled to take place from August 31 to September 13, 2020. According to USTA chief of operations Mike Dowse, the US Open will confirm its status by June.
“Time is on our side at this point as the last Grand Slam,” Dowse said. “Obviously our ambition is to run the tournament. Having said that, it won’t be the driving factor. The driving factor is the health and well-being of our players, fans, and staff. We’ve set a time frame about June to make that decision.”
Also, the tournament is not considering to host the last Slam of the year without spectators. If the medical experts urge the organizers to abstain fans from coming into the stadium, only then the event will consider hosting it without spectators.
Also Read – French Open 2020 Gets Postponed Once Again
However, hosting a Grand Slam without spectators will cause a massive drop in the tournament’s revenue.
“Playing without spectators – we’re not taking anything off the table – but it’s highly unlikely,” Dowse said. “It’s not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis. We really don’t see that as an option. Unless the medical experts come back with: here’s a foolproof way of doing a safe tournament without fans. We may look at it at that point.”