The U.S. Open this year will be played at three different venues in Queens, Queens, Queens, but the fates of the stadium at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was apparently never in doubt. Despite rain and lightning strikes shutting down a few matches already on the schedule, on Thursday the lights stayed on at the Coliseum, as play went on under covers. This is the second year in a row that the Open has been suspended at the final grand slam of the season because of rain. The USTA has placed an obligation to keep fans as safe as possible in mind, after numerous tragedies occurred at the Coliseum during the 1960s when the facility was an arena for boxing. The USTA has implemented new measures this year, including the roof being raised about 10 feet higher, thus allowing showers to pass directly over the court.
One person injured in match postponed because of “unusual weather conditions” https://t.co/r4kZrITez8 pic.twitter.com/P4x0jy8a3S — The Root (@TheRoot) May 10, 2018
Spectators were allowed to remain in the arena as the roof was opened briefly to let water off court. A set, in particular, was put on hold for a span of about 5-7 minutes when the waterproofing material on the floor began to obscure the player’s shoes.
This is the second year in a row that the US Open has been interrupted by rain, despite the roof being put in place. Image by: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
“We will not cancel the tournament but rather wait and see how long the weather lasts. If we come to the conclusion that the roofs are not going to prevent the rain delay, then we will close the roof,” tour executive director Mike Davis told New York’s Newsday. “We are protecting the patrons and the players at all costs. We can look at weather on a day-to-day basis and make decisions. “But because of the key workers on the surface, weather will always be a factor. The stadium was designed to be under the guidance of nature, but we have to protect our fans and tournament. It will be interesting to see how well the facilities do this year.”