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US Open to build roof over Arthur Ashe

ESPN staff
August 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Arthur Ashe Stadium has been exposed to the elements since opening in 1997 © Getty Images
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A roof will be added to the US Open's Arthur Ashe Stadium and could be installed in time for the 2016 tournament, according to reports.

The move will bring the year's final major in line with Wimbledon and the Australian Open after weather delays have forced the tournament into a third week for the past five years.

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It was originally thought that the foundations of the 22,500-seater stadium - the largest permanent tennis venue since opening in 1997 - were not strong enough to support the weight of a retro-fitted roof, but plans are now underway to address the issue as part of a $500m renovation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.

The proposed roof will span an area five times the size of the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, which was introduced at the 2009 Championships.

"The USTA will formally announce the construction of a state-of-the-art retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium as part of the overall transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at a major press conference on Thursday," the New York Post reported.

The USTA have investigated how to put a roof on Arthur Ashe for years to limit the impact of weather delays, but as recently as last year officials have said they had not found a cost-effective way to do so.

At that time the USTA announced plans to replace the smaller show courts - Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand - plans that appear to remain on track.

The tournament organisers have elected to schedule the men's final on Monday at both the 2013 and 2014 US Opens, giving both the finalists in the men's and women's singles draw a day off before the final for the first time.

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