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The Essential Shade Seekers’ Seating Guide to the US Open (2024)

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Attending a tennis Grand Slam is a bucket list experience for every serious professional sports fan. The US Open, hosted annually in New York City around Labor Day, presents an amazing opportunity to see the world’s top tennis players in action. Unlike other professional championships, Grand Slams feature a complex array of ticketing options, and with increasing popularity, tickets are in high demand. It’s important to choose your seats wisely!

This article aims to help you navigate the stadiums at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and understand the ticketing options, with a specific focus on finding shaded seats. The US Open takes place in summer and tennis is an outdoor sport, so whether you’re roasting in the sun or relaxing in the shade can significantly impact your overall enjoyment of the event!

For more general tips on attending the US Open or strategies on how to see specific players, you will need to look beyond this guide. However, there are plenty of excellent resources online. Try not to stress too much, especially if it’s your first time. The US Open is an experience that transcends beyond individual tennis matches.

US Open Tennis Stadiums

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center boasts over 20 tennis courts and three major stadiums. During the qualifying rounds and early stages of the tournament, many of the outer courts host matches, offering fans an incredible chance to witness top-tier tennis talent from only a few feet away. As the tournament progresses and the player pool narrows, high-interest matches are scheduled on one of the three main stadiums. This guide focuses on these stadiums.

Below is a summary of the main US Open stadiums. We also have individual guides for each stadium, detailing which specific sections are shaded at various times throughout the day. For a more in-depth exploration, feel free to click or tap on the image below to access the full article.

Arthur Ashe Stadium

Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main tennis court at the US Open in New York City USA.

As the largest and primary venue at the US Open, Arthur Ashe regularly hosts the biggest tennis matches and stars.

Louis Armstrong Stadium

Louis Armstrong Stadium is the secondary tennis court at the US Open in New York City USA.

The second stage of the US Open, Louis Armstrong Stadium features many high-profile tennis matches.

Grandstand Stadium

Grandstand Stadium is one of the show tennis court at the US Open in New York City USA.

The third-largest court at the US Open, Grandstand hosts early day session matches during the tournament.

US Open Ticketing Options

Unlike other professional sports where tickets grant entry to a single game or match, Grand Slam tennis is divided into sessions. Most days during the US Open feature two sessions: a day session (starting at 11:00 AM) and a night session (starting at 7:00 PM). Within each session, multiple matches occur across various courts. This means a session ticket allows you to pick and choose matches at potentially different venues, depending on your schedule.

To attend a session, there are four ticketing options: 1. Arthur Ashe Stadium ticket, 2. Louis Armstrong Stadium ticket, 3. Grandstand ticket and 4. Grounds pass

All four types of tickets grant you entry into the event. Once inside, the type of ticket you have dictates which stadiums you can access and which sections you are allowed to sit in those stadiums. 

The table below details the access provided by each type of ticket. Bear in mind that not every ticket is offered for every session. For example the Grounds Pass and Grandstand Stadium tickets are typically only offered for day sessions early in the tournament. It’s important to check what’s happening on the day you plan to attend. 

Ticket TypeArthur Ashe StadiumLouis Armstrong StadiumGrandstand Stadium
Arthur Ashe Stadium Ticket🎟️ Reserved SeatGeneral AdmissionGeneral Admission
Louis Armstrong Stadium Ticket🚫 No Access🎟️ Reserved SeatGeneral Admission
Grandstand Stadium Ticket🚫 No AccessGeneral Admission🎟️ Reserved Seat
Grounds Pass🚫 No AccessGeneral AdmissionGeneral Admission
Arthur Ashe Stadium Ticket

  • 🎟️ Reserved Seat at Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Grandstand Stadium

Louis Armstrong Stadium Ticket

  • 🚫 No Access at Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • 🎟️ Reserved Seat at Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Grandstand Stadium

Grandstand Stadium Ticket

  • 🚫 No Access at Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • 🎟️ Reserved Seat at at Grandstand Stadium

Grounds Pass

  • 🚫 No Access at Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • ✅ General Admission at Grandstand Stadium

The most valuable ticket is for Arthur Ashe Stadium, as it’s the only ticket that allows access to the biggest venue, where the tournament typically schedules the biggest stars. Plus it gives you general admission access to the other two main stadiums. 

Louis Armstrong Stadium operates differently. For most sessions the lower-level sections require a reserved ticket, while the upper-level sections are mostly general admission. Purchasing a Louis Armstrong Stadium ticket guarantees a specific seat in the lower level but does not provide access to Arthur Ashe Stadium.

A Grounds Pass grants access only to general admission areas, allowing you to watch matches at Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand, but not at Arthur Ashe Stadium, since it does not have a general admission section.

The images below show how Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand are divided into reserved seating and general admission. In 2024 the US Open switched several sections that were previously General Admission to Reserved so it’s important to double check the seating charts on Ticketmaster to confirm where you need a reserved ticket to sit! 

Side by side comparison shows which seats at Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand Stadium are reserved and which are general admission.

When selecting a reserved seat in any of the three stadiums, it’s crucial to consider which sections are shaded and which are sunny, as your reserved seat is set for the entire session. Choose wisely!

Where to Buy US Open Tickets

Ticketmaster is the official Box Office and Verified Resale partner for the US Open. It’s best to begin your ticket search on Ticketmaster to see what options they have available for the session you’re interested in.

Box Office tickets are those still available from the US Open at face value. On Ticketmaster, they are marked as “Verified Ticket” and appear as blue dots on the seat map. Resale tickets are labeled “Verified Resale” and show up as purple with two circling arrows on the seat map. Resale tickets may be priced above or below face value. On lower-demand weekdays Verified Resale may actually be a better value. Always check and don’t assume. 

The image below demonstrates what the mix of dots look like on the Ticketmaster seat map on a laptop or desktop computer.

Example of a seating map on Ticketmaster that shows standard tickets as blue dots and resale tickets as pink dots.

From a buyer’s perspective, whether you purchase a Verified Ticket or Verified Resale on Ticketmaster, your experience will be identical. After completing the checkout, your ticket will be available instantly in your Ticketmaster account. When you arrive at the US Open, you’ll scan your ticket using the Ticketmaster mobile app.

After checking Ticketmaster, it’s also worthwhile to explore options on SeatGeek and StubHub, both reputable resale websites. Many tennis fans buy multi-session packages early in the summer and decide later which sessions to actually attend. They may list any sessions they choose not to attend on these sites.

If you purchase on SeatGeek or StubHub, you will still need a Ticketmaster account and the Ticketmaster mobile app. Post-purchase, you’ll receive an invitation from the seller to “accept” the ticket into your Ticketmaster account. SeatGeek and StubHub are both established and reputable ticket marketplaces, offering robust buyer guarantees (which you can read here and here) in case of any issues.

Do not buy tickets from a stranger on Facebook or Craigslist, or a random passenger on the 7 train. These direct person-to-person sales are temping as a way to avoid the ticket marketplace fees, which can be substantial. Unfortunately scammers know this and exploit sports fans’ distaste for fees. Unless you personally know the seller, the lack of protections means that if something goes wrong, you could lose all of your money.

New York City Weather During the US Open

The US Open is held during late summer, and while New York City may not be the hottest city in the world, temperatures in August and September are toasty. In 2024, the tournament is scheduled for August 19 – September 8. The chart below displays the average daily temperatures in New York City during the tournament dates. Average daily highs top 80 degrees Fahrenheit for almost all dates in the tournament. 

Chart that shows the average daily high and average daily low temperature in New York City during the dates of the US Open tennis tournament.

It’s important to note that official temperatures are always measured using a thermometer in the shade. Why? Because in the shade, only the air temperature is measured. If the thermometer is placed in direct sunlight, solar radiation would make it feel 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. This article by a meteorologist delves into the science behind this, but the key takeaway is that on an 80-degree day at the US Open, a seat in the sun could easily feel like it’s in the 90s. Yikes!

Orientation of the Sun During the US Open

A distinctive feature of the US Open is that matches begin in the morning, hours before the sun reaches its meridian (i.e., “solar noon”). The graphic below illustrates the solar arc in New York City on September 1st and includes session start times for reference.

Graphic illustrates the position of the sun in the sky (ie the solar arc) in New York City on September 1st, approximately halfway through the US Open tennis tournament.

Consider the sun’s daily journey in two phases: rising and setting. “Solar noon” marks the midpoint, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. In contrast, most professional sports occur entirely during the sun’s “setting” phase. For instance, at Citi Field next door, the Mets don’t have a single game in 2024 scheduled before 1:05 PM, meaning the sun is always descending by the time the first pitch is thrown.

Since the first matches of the US Open are scheduled for 11:00 AM, the dynamics of shaded seating are essentially reversed during the first daily match. At Louis Armstrong Stadium, for example, seats on the east side start the first match in the sun but will transition into the shade after a few sets and remain shaded for the rest of the day. If you arrive in the morning and find your seat, chosen using our guide, in the sun, don’t worry! It will soon enough move into the shade. 

Do US Open Stadiums Have Retractable Roofs?

Both Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium are equipped with retractable roofs. However, the Grandstand and outer courts do not have any cover over the court. 

When the National Tennis Center opened in the 1970s, all venues, including Arthur Ashe Stadium, were open-air with no roofs. A major issue is that New York City weather is unpredictable, and rain often caused schedule delays, pushing championship matches that should have taken place over the closing weekend into the following week. In response, a retractable roof was added to Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2016, and a new Louis Armstrong Stadium with a retractable roof was built a few years later. 

The US Open is traditionally an outdoor event, so you can expect the roof to be open at the tournament as long as the weather is clear. For that reason, you should always prepare for a hot, sunny day and assume the roof will be open. 

Want Even More Information About Shade at the US Open?

Check out or in-depth articles about Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand for details about which seats are shaded at different times of day.