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U.S. Open tennis tournament opens stands to 100% capacity this year

“We missed having our fans on-site [in 2020], because we know that they are a large part of what makes the U.S. Open experience unlike any other, USTA CEO Mike Dowes said Thursday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
“We missed having our fans on-site [in 2020], because we know that they are a large part of what makes the U.S. Open experience unlike any other," USTA CEO Mike Dowes said Thursday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- A year after closing the event to fans due to COVID-19, the United States Open tennis championship in New York City this year will open to 100% capacity, tournament officials said Thursday.

The tournament, operated by the United States Tennis Association, made the announcement on Thursday and said tickets will go on sale next month.

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"We are extremely excited to be able to welcome our incredible fans back to the U.S. Open this year," USTA CEO Mike Dowse said in a statement.

"We missed having our fans on-site [in 2020], because we know that they are a large part of what makes the U.S. Open experience unlike any other."

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The tournament, held each year at the USTA Tennis Center in the New York City borough of Queens, is the sport's final Grand Slam event of the year.

The event is able to open to 100% after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said COVID-19 mitigation measures would be dismissed by August. The city plans to lift all restrictions next month.

Cuomo said Wednesday about 70% of New York residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

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"What New York has done is extraordinary," Cuomo said in a statement. "We successfully deployed the weapon that will win the war, and New York led the nation."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the city will stage a parade on July 7 to honor front-line workers.

Arthur Ashe Stadium, the U.S. Open's main venue, seats almost 24,000 fans and is one of the largest tennis-only outdoor arenas in the world.

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Major League Baseball's New York Mets, who play at nearby Citi Field, also said recently they will open to full capacity next week.

Tennis' most prestigious Grand Slam event, Wimbledon, will allow up to 40% capacity when early-round matches begin on June 28. It will allow full capacity for the final weekend.

The U.S. Open will run from Aug. 30 through Sept. 12. The USTA said tickets will go on sale July 15.

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