U.S. Open

How to Do the U.S. Open: A Must-Do NYC Event

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Capital One. The opinions expressed herein are those of C&C and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.

While personally my entire #BucketList consists of travel experiences, specific events around the globe take up a large portion of that roster. Exhibit A: hitting all four of the tennis Grand Slam tournaments.

U.S. OpenMom and I just finished a five-night run in NYC for the annual event, and although it was my third time attending the tourney in Flushing Meadows, it’s my first time doing so as a non-New Yorker. Thus, I’ve come to realize how hard working out the logistics of planning such a trip is—and to the most expensive city in the United States at that—and how convenient the Venture card features are, like no blackout dates and double points on the hundreds thousands of dollars we spent on food, lodging and transportation would have been in this circumstance (particularly when my individual hotel loyalty programs wouldn’t let me cash in any of my hard-earned nights for the occasion). That seems like a good enough reason alone to cash in some coveted credit card points with the Venture card.

U.S. OpenIn case the U.S. Open is also on your #BucketList, I wanted to put together a guide from my own experience on how to make this dream a reality as it can be a bit confusing, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with New York City’s five boroughs. Here’s much of what you need to know to check off this item from your list, as well:

The sessions are divvied up by day or night tickets. Day tickets ($55 for the grounds pass; starting at $72 if you want to include Arthur Ashe matches) allow you access to all matches from 11am to 7pm. Night tickets (starting at $60) admit you to just to the two nighttime matches (the biggies, if you will) in Arthur Ashe Stadium, consisting of a women’s match and a men’s match. We bought a package back in spring when the tickets first went on sale that included day tickets for three days and night tickets for two nights. When you pre-purchase them as we did (a $100 deposit), you are guaranteed tickets and they assign you your seats in June when everything is published.

U.S. OpenConsider staying in Manhattan as opposed to Queens. We originally planned to book a hotel near the complex out in Flushing Meadows only to find it was upward of $400—for a two-star chain motel! No thanks. Instead, we paid $224 a night to stay at a classy, five-star Morgans Group boutique hotel, the Royalton, right off of Bryant Park and took the 30-minute subway (the 7 train) to and from the grounds. Of course this is inconvenient if you want to go back and forth from your hotel all day, but we stayed on site from 11am till 11pm so we didn’t much mind. (Besides, who would opt to stay out in Flushing when you can sleep in the middle of Manhattan for half the price?!)

U.S. OpenAllow time for baggage check (or leave your purse at home). The big difference in this year vs. the last time I attended in 2007 is that the security line was insane. Since we took a 7am flight to arrive at 10am on opening day, we had our suitcases with us. There are lockers ($5) each and if you bring a backpack or anything larger than a small purse, you’re made to check it. So we waited in an hour-long line to check our suitcases and then had to wait in the hour-long line to go through security and get our tiny purses, which just held our phones and wallets, checked as well. You’d think they’d streamline it a bit, but nope. (I’m sure much of that had to do with the events of the Boston Marathon earlier this year. I guess better safe than sorry.)

US OpenWhen dining, grab a table and then send one of your party to get food. It seemed like there was only one table per 20 people or so and they go like hotcakes. Don’t be afraid to swarm like a vulture or even ask others with empty seats if you can join them; this is all standard at the Open.

Speaking of the food, there are many, many choices. SVV and I have switched to a eating regimine that consists mainly of Paleo, and even I was able to find a delicious—and different—$14 salad for every meal thanks to the dozens of options, which even included a farm-to-table stand. Of course, food isn’t cheap, and bottled water costs $5, but that’s to be expected of course (and is another way to earn double points on your Venture card!).

Rent the radio or video devices to monitor what’s going on among the other courts. We were stuck in Arthur Ashe watching Djokovic dominate his opponent in straight sets while Vickie Duval was having the match of her life next door in Louis Armstrong and it killed us to hear it and not be able to see it. We did have one of the little headsets you could rent, but little did I know until the next day that you could also rent handheld video monitors to actually watch what was going on outside of the specific match you’re sitting in on. Genius.U.S. OpenPlan to go in the early rounds. I’ve always gone on the first couple of days of the tournament as there are so many matches going on at any one time spread out across the 17 courts and you really get to see a lot of your favorite athletes this way (plus get more bang for your buck). In just one day, we saw Venus, Serena, Federer, Sloane, Jamie Hampton and Nadal all play—plus many others! Also, the stands on many courts are empty, which gives you plenty of room to stretch out.

U.S. OpenPack a poncho. And/or an umbrella. There’s rarely a year when it doesn’t downright pour during the Open, and we experienced showers two of the three days we were on site (with one day being entirely rained out, much to our dismay). My mom had the foresight to pack a poncho but when we had to check our bags, she left it in the suitcase in our locker so little good it did us. Instead, we got drenched (which was actually a welcome occurrence in that heat), but next time, I’ll come prepared.

U.S. OpenU.S. OpenIs the U.S. Open on your #BucketList? If not, what events are?

  • September 7, 2013

    While I played quite a bit of tennis growing up, the sport doesn’t really interest me too much now. I would LOVE to go to the World Cup though! Awesome pics btw!!!

    • September 11, 2013

      I’m with ya on that, sista. Surely your Latin lover and you have plans to go back to Brazil in summer 2014?

      • September 12, 2013

        We’re hoping to be pregnant by then actually! So, if I’m not pregnant, which I hope is not the case, then yes we’ll definitely be there!!! We want to go sooo badly. It will cost a fortune though!

  • September 7, 2013

    It would be a dream come true to travel and attend the US open. amazing pictures.

    • September 11, 2013

      It’s actually really easy to get tickets if you ever happen to be in NYC in August!

  • September 8, 2013

    Wow great post. I can’t say the US Open is on my Bucket List, but I loved your pic with the lights and flag design on the court. The two sporting events I’d most like to see are Women’s Gymnastics at the Olympics, and the Tour de France (controversy aside, it just seems like a fun event!):)

    • September 11, 2013

      OK, I’m with you on one thing: the women’s gymnastics at the Olympics would be the first sporting event I could pick if I could choose to go to any one competition in the world. I live for those two weeks every four years!

  • September 9, 2013

    Those seats look so steep! It reminds me of the first time I went to the London O2. You could suffer vertigo in that place! I’d love to see some live tennis. I lived in London for 7 years and never managed to get the time off work to see Wimbledon! #Fail!

    • September 11, 2013

      They were REALLY steep, and yes, I definitely experienced mild vertigo and my mom, who is terrified of heights, nearly couldn’t make it to the top!

  • September 9, 2013

    I went to the US Open a few times when I was a New Yorker even though I know next-to-nothing about tennis. It’s so much fun! Glad y’all had such a great time!

    • September 11, 2013

      Best New Yorker experience, in my opinion!

  • September 9, 2013

    Visiting all four majors is on my bucket list, too! I’ve been to Wimbledon, but never the US Open – I think that one’s up next. Thanks for the tips.

    • September 11, 2013

      Oooh jealous. I think of Wimbledon as the most difficult one to achieve; I hear it’s really hard to get tickets (vs. the Australian Open, where they allegedly just give away tickets!).

  • September 10, 2013

    You should have mentioned that after the horrible lines the first day…they weren’t nearly so bad the next few days. Like maybe 20 minutes or so. Also, if you can stuff everything into your pockets that you need, you don’t even have to wait at all! A young feller that sat next to me all day Thursday had stuffed a thin duffle bag in a pocket, also…a subway sandwich…a water…a poncho…a jacket…etc etc. then he stuffed it all in the duffle bag once he got through security. (He was from Brooklyn, so he was smart)

    • September 11, 2013

      Some of us don’t have pockets, Jeje!

  • September 12, 2013

    I went to the US Open for the first time last year and had a BLAST! Funny enough, it was after I moved out of NYC! Would love to go back sometime.

Leave a Comment