Fan's Guide to the US Open Tennis Tournament

The month of August has begun, the hot summer has arrived, and three Grand Slam Tennis events have already been played.  At this time of year, residents of New York and tennis fans around the globe prepare for the US Open Tennis Tournament in Flushing, Queens.

For newcomers and the experienced guest, do you know how to plan out your day at the US Open?  Where you should sit or what to see or where to eat?  Here is our list of things to keep in mind before you make your plans to the US Open.

1. Arthur Ashe Seating - When it comes to watching tennis at the US Open, there is nothing better than sitting in Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The top matches during the tournament are held here including the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals. With a capacity of over 22,000, Arthur Ashe is the largest stadium that is specifically used only for tennis. Because of this, the thought is that since the stadium is so large, the view of the court will seem distant or poor.  This is far from true.

When seating at Arthur Ashe Stadium, you have three areas to choose from: promenade, loge, or courtside.   All seats on these levels are reserved seating. Courtside is obviously going to be your best option as you will be as close to the players as possible, without being on the actual court. Being these are the best seats, these tickets will also cost the most.

The Promenade is located on the 300 level, the highest level.  These seats will be the most cost effective, but there are many great seats on this level.  There are a total of 26 rows (A-Z) on the promenade level. The first 15 rows (A-O) are referred to as the lower promenade and the final 11 rows (P-Z) are the upper promenade. When thinking about purchasing tickets on this level, definitely consider sitting in the lower promenade.  You will be on the highest level, however, it does not give you the impression you are sitting high.

The Loge Level is located on the second tier of the venue. There are a total of 7 rows on each section and the cost is only slightly higher than the promenade. Loge seating allows amazing views of the court (see picture below). Since these tickets cost a little more than the promenade and offer fantastic views, these seats are in higher demand than most.

2. Fun Activities - During the two+ weeks of the tournament, there are many other things to do besides sitting in your seats.  At the main entrance, visit the garden area where you will see the statue of Arthur Ashe & various plaques of memorable people who make the US Open Tennis such a great event.  The fountain area, in front of the gate of Arthur Ashe Stadium, is a gathering area for all the fans to watch the live action taking in place in the stadium and updates on all matches. ESPN & CBS also broadcasts live from here.  For the guests who want to see how it feels to play at the elite level, check out Smashzone, the interactive area where you can test you tennis skills in different simulations.

Before the tournament begins, bring your family to Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. On August 27, you can bring your children and take part in various interactive games on several courts & in the Smashzone.  In the afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium, you will be treated to a two hour show featuring Cody Simpson, Action Item, Girls Night Out, Jacob Latimore, and more. Other players & celebrities will also be appearing for possible autograph sessions. Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, & Bradley Cooper are a few of the guests who will be present.

Where to Eat - When attending the US Open, you will definitely not go hungry. The simplest thing would be to gather in the food village and choose from the approximate 20 food and drink stands.  Options from BBQ, pizza, gourmet sandwiches, Mexican cuisine, seafood, crepes, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and more are made available for all guests. Try to take advantage of the Heineken Red Star Sports Bar Cafe located near Court 7.

You also have three options on full service restaurants at the US Open.  Aces, Champions Bar & Grill, & US Open Club offer the best food creations you could imagine. While dining, TV’s are setup throughout the restaurants, so you don't miss a minute of the action. If you're planning on dining at one of these fine restaurants, you will need to purchase a ticket to gain entry and reservations are highly recommended.

Sports Traveler is still offering US Open Tennis Tickets & Travel Packages to all sessions of the tournament. Packages are fully customizable to see any session(s) you'd like. Start making your plans to the 2011 US Open and also think of Sports Traveler for all of your 2012 needs.

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