Experiencing the US Open
For most, the 2012 US Open will be remembered for Serena’s dominance and Andy Murray’s first Grand Slam title, but I’ll remember it for a different reason. Not only was this my first ever US Open, I was lucky enough to experience the Open as a true VIP. As a guest of our client and US Open sponsor, Emirates Airline, I took in the action from the comforts of a luxury suite that was enhanced by the award-winning service provided by the Emirates Airline Crew in attendance.
If you call yourself a sports fan, add the US Open to your bucket list. Trust me, as a self-proclaimed gridiron junkie, I wasn’t sure I’d warm up to the game, but after a day spent in Flushing Meadows I’m hooked. If you’re lucky enough to attend next year’s Open I invite you to learn from some of my rookie mistakes and make the most of your Open experience.
The statue of Arthur Ashe outside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Get There Early
One of my favorite moments of the tournament was watching Gold Medal winner (and future 2012 US Open Champion) Andy Murray’s practice session hours before his opening match. Just after the gates opened I settled in to my Emirates Airline luxury box seat, making me one of the only people in Arthur Ashe stadium. My early arrival was rewarded with a thrilling display of tennis and a glimpse into the dedication and passion of one of the sport’s greatest athletes.
Leave the bags, purses, knapsacks, satchels, and bagged lunches behind. The security lines for fans with bags seemed to stretch for miles, well past the iconic Flushing Meadows Globe. Even with Emirates luxury box tickets in hand, as a “bagged” man I endured this endless march while my “bagless” friends explored the grounds and had the time of their lives mingling with movie stars and celebrities, or so I imagined during my 30 minute wait outside the gates with only my backpack to console me.
But Bring an Umbrella
Ditch the bag, but bring the rain gear. Unlike its Grand Slam Brethren, the US Open does not have a retractable roof over its main court, which means when it rains, or in my case when it downpours, you’re out of luck and soaked. Stay happy, stay dry and pack an umbrella.
Make the Rounds
Your ticket to the 22,547 seat Arthur Ashe Stadium grants you access to all 17 courts. During the opening days of the tournament you can catch some of the sport’s marquee names playing in “stadiums” that are no bigger than your local high school’s. No other sport grants you such intimate access to its biggest stars. Take advantage and see the stars up close and personal.
Take a Break
If your neck needs a break from following a day’s worth of volleys, take a spin around the grounds and visit the myriad of sponsorship booths. From having your tennis swing analyzed by a pro, to experiencing an Emirates First Class Private Suite first-hand, there’s plenty to do while you take a break from the action.