Traveling to New York for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament

us open hotel guideThe U.S. Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, is a fan favorite, particularly given its convenient location in New York City. A short subway ride east on the 7 line and you’ll be in the heart of the action, courtside at some of the best pro tennis matches.

The tournament runs nearly two weeks, this year from August 26–September 8, and welcomes tennis greats from around the world, like Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. More than seven rounds of singles matches (for both men and women) and six rounds of doubles matches will leave fans at the edge of their seats, taking in every serve, ace, lob, and volley.

There’s no question that U.S. Open tennis matches are mesmerizing, so plan ahead to maximize your time at this bucket-list-worthy tournament. Here’s the scoop on how to get tickets, how to get around, where to stay, and even what else to do while you’re in town.

Getting Your Tickets for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament

Several types of U.S. Open tickets are available to tennis fans.

  • The first is all-day grounds admission, which allows fans first-come, first-serve seating to the practice courts where many of the early-round matches are played. Ticketholders also have access to unreserved seats at Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand Stadium.
  • The second type of ticket is a day pass for one of the three big stadiums (Arthur Ashe, Louis Armstrong, and Grandstand). A separate pass will need to be purchased for each stadium, and ticketholders have reserved seats.
  • The third ticket is an evening pass that can be used at Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong. Guests can watch matches at practice courts too.

Be sure to buy tickets from an official seller or re-seller to ensure your tickets are legitimate. You don’t want to take the train out to Flushing Meadows only to learn that your tickets are not the real deal.

Many tennis enthusiasts are understandably drawn to Arthur Ashe Stadium to see some of the best players in the world compete. You’ll pay a premium for any seats in this massive 23,700 seat stadium and you’ll still find yourself away from the action. In fact, you may spend most of your time watching points played on the supersize video screens.

A better bet is to purchase grounds admission tickets to watch the opening rounds of play on the practice courts. You won’t believe how close you’ll be to the pros as they play. Some even sign autographs after their matches. Since seats on these courts are first-come, first-serve, study the schedule ahead of time on the free mobile app and get there early.

Getting to Flushing Meadows in Queens

The absolute best way to travel to the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows is by subway. The 7 train (purple line) goes directly to the tennis stadium. It’s the very last stop (Flushing-Main Street), so you won’t miss it. Just follow the crowds.

From Grand Central Station in Manhattan, it’s just 30 minutes to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on the subway. Get a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard at any subway station. The fee is $2.75 per ride regardless of how many stops you ride within the transit system.

If you do choose drive, the yellow zone parking is the way to go, but given nearly 700,000 people attended dozens of matches last year, you’ll want to seriously consider the subway.

Pre-Tournament Events

Of course, there’s plenty to do in New York, but if you came for tennis, you’ll want to arrive a few days before the tournament for U.S. Open Fan Week. For six days ahead of the actual competition, fans can watch qualifying matches and player practices at no charge (yes, freeeee).

There are also one or two days when previous U.S. Open winners face off against each other in the Grandstand. For many, this is a real highlight of the U.S. Open. Fan Week also includes an annual children’s festival—Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day—and a doubles clinic during which top doubles teams give aspiring players tips and advice to take their game up a notch.

Other Things to Do in the NYC Area

There are obviously more things to see and do in the Big Apple than you could ever experience in a lifetime, but here’s a quick list of attractions to sample while you’re in town.

Strolling through Central Park, making your way to the top of the Empire State Building, and sitting on the steps of MOMA are some of the quintessential experiences everyone should have in NYC. If hitting these touristy hotspots are on the top of your NYC bucket list, you should check out this list of the best New York attractions from TimeOut.

For a more authentic New Yorker experience, the locals will tell you to skip the tourist trap that is Little Italy in Manhattan and make your way to the Bronx to experience the real Little Italy on Arthur Avenue. This neighborhood beats its rivals in just the sheer number of establishments lining the streets offering Italian-American foods, dining, housewares, and more. Then make your way down to Brooklyn and visit the popular Bushwick and DUMBO neighborhoods to visit quirky galleries, historic landmarks, and creative restaurants.

Where to Stay in New York City

Whether you plan to exclusively attend the U.S. Open (and nothing else) or you’d like to indulge in a bit of tennis-free sightseeing while in town, there’s a hotel for you. Here are a few of our favorites, all of which are a short walk from the 7 line for easy subway access. Or, you can browse through all of our partner hotels in NYC.

  • Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel is another great choice for tennis enthusiasts at just a mile from the stadium. Asian-inspired décor graces the interiors of this modern Queens hotel.

Whether you plan to take in a handful of matches or stay for the duration of this Grand Slam tournament, we’re here to make sure the hotel booking experience is as easy as possible. Find the perfect hotel close to the tennis complex in Flushing, or book a stay in Manhattan to take in a greater slice of the Big Apple. Game, set, match.