The U.S. Open—New York’s exhilarating summer sports event—is one of the most exciting things to do in Queens. But this year, things are going to be much different.
While the games will go on, the U.S. Tennis Association said that fans will not be allowed in because of state health and safety protocols surrounding large gatherings.
That's a huge change that means Flushing won't be buzzing with activity like it does each year when the tennis stars come to play.
"The decision to hold the 2020 U.S. Open without fans was not an easy one, but ultimately it was the correct one," said Stacey Allaster, the chief executive, of Professional Tennis at USTA and US Open Tournament Director. "To mitigate risk, we must minimize numbers on-site. Though we will not have fans on our site, we will engage with tennis fans around the world in new and exciting ways with the help of our global broadcast partners, and all our US Open sponsors."
To that end, the Billie Jean King Tennis Center is holding both the 2020 U.S. Open and 2020 Western & Southern Open will be held at Flushing's NTC. By doing this, it allows the USTA to keep the events in one centralized location, mitigating risk and allowing for one cohesive safety plan but it'll also amp up excitement for the summer's biggest tennis events.
Still, some tennis players have decided not to participate to protect themselves and their families from getting ill, including Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty and Nick Kyrgios.
When is the U.S. Open?
The U.S. Open takes place in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens at the end of the summer from from August 31 to September 13. ESPN and ESPN+ will be covering the games so you will be able to watch them that way.
U.S. Open in New York
The US Open will still go on this summer but without spectators
The US Open will go on as planned this year, but fans will have to stay home. In an announcement on Wednesday morning, the US Tennis Association announced that the anticipated summer sporting event would still be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens from August 31 to September 13, but with many changes in place to keep everyone safe. "The decision to hold the 2020 US Open without fans was not an easy one, but ultimately it was the correct one," said Stacey Allaster, the chief executive, of Professional Tennis at USTA and US Open Tournament Director. "To mitigate risk, we must minimize numbers on-site. Though we will not have fans on our site, we will engage with tennis fans around the world in new and exciting ways with the help of our global broadcast partners, and all our US Open sponsors." RECOMMENDED: The US Open in New York 2020 guide One of those ways is by holding both the 2020 US Open and 2020 Western & Southern Open will be held at Flushing's NTC. The Western & Southern Open, which is usually held in Ohio, will be on Aug. 19-28. By doing this, it allows the USTA to keep the events in one centralized location, mitigating risk and allowing for one cohesive safety plan, the USTA says. Plus, it'll amp up excitement for the summer's biggest tennis events even more than usual, according to Mike Dowse, the USTA's CEO and executive director. "These two events are the summer’s biggest tennis blockbusters in the U.S., and we are
Archive U.S. Open in New York coverage
Where to watch U.S. Open matches in NYC
Are you a dedicated sports fan unsure of where to go to watch U.S. Open matches? Now that the Olympics are over, you might be hankering to get courtside, or settle for the next best thing, watching topspins and backhands from the comfort of neighborhood sports bars. NYC has all eyes turned to the U.S. Open, and if you’re not lucky enough to score tickets to see these historic matches in real life, watching on screen over some craft beer as Venus and Serena and all the rest go down to the tennis court and talk it up is the next best thing. Rally your crew and head to these sports pubs, patios and some of the best outdoor bars NYC has to offer to relax with some televised tennis. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the U.S. Open in NYC
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in NYC guide
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park—one of the top New York attractions and among the best things to do in Queens—was once home to the World’s Fair and is now the city's second-biggest park chock-full of plenty of outstanding things to do. In just one day, you can visit a zoo, go fishing at Meadow Lake, get your park barbecue on along the rolling grass and visit a skate park—not to mention all the art museums and cultural institutions nearby. (Care to see the Mets play, anyone?) Go on, get lost in it! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to NYC parks
The best restaurants in Flushing, Queens
When we’re seeking some of the best Chinese restaurants in New York, Flushing is always on our list of places to visit. This culinary mecca in Queens’ Chinatown is why we board the 7 train to fix our cravings for dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, bubble tea and Asian desserts. While the nearby Queens Night Market is great, we love Flushing for its endless options around the clock (look for at least an eatery or two to make our best dishes and drinks list this year). RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
How to see the US Open without breaking the bank
It’s no surprise that the US Open has a reputation as one of the most expensive sporting events of the year. Not only is tennis a favorite sport among country club frequenters, but anyone who’s seen the tournament on TV knows it’s the perfect place to spot Bill Clinton, Beyonce, Martha Stewart and multiple Kardashians sitting about, clapping politely. Here’s the good news, though: you don’t need to be able to afford a spot next to Alec Baldwin to watch the athletes in action. There are several ways to enjoy Queen’s biggest annual event without spending much: RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the U.S. Open in New York 1. Pay nada at the open-to-the-public qualifying rounds: Today marks the beginning of the four day tournament where hundreds of internationally ranked players—typically those that are currently placed between 105 and 250 in the world—compete for a spot in the big event. Many of the contenders are young up-and-comers who might just be destined for their own multi-million dollar product sponsorship deals one day. 2. Watch the powerhouse players practice: If you’re not all that interested in a bunch of potential-stars, don’t write off the qualifying rounds just yet—this is the great time to get a glimpse of the huge stars warming up for the August 31st start date. Check out the practice schedule the morning of and rush for a spot in the crowd to watch the likes of Serena Williams and Andy Murray (both of whom practiced this morning) working on their serves. 3. Skip Flus