Every summer, Flushing, New York plays host to the U.S. Open. Leading up to the 2017 tournament, the United States Tennis Association (UTSA) wanted to bring the excitement of the tournament to the streets of Manhattan via the U.S. Open Experience. UTSA hired DKC/Inc!te to plan the event in the historic Seaport District and Inc!te brought PRG on to provide custom scenic, video and audio.
Inc!te challenged PRG to bring as much of the look and feel of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens to the cobblestone streets of the historic Manhattan district. PRG rose to the challenge and transformed the street by constructing a roofed tennis court, performance stage, entrance gate and PRG even re-created a 10-foot-tall Unisphere, the famous sculpture that stands near the home of the U.S. Open.
“Inc!te looked to us to make a big impact,” said Chris Hibbard, director of global accounts at PRG. “With the challenge of a tight budget and logistics of an uneven slope and cobblestone street, we knew we needed to employ all our expertise and take time in planning. We solved the challenges through design and use of equipment.”
PRG designed the roof of the tennis court to give a nod to the new roof system at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and built the entire court and roof using 20 x 20 trusses. Working closely with engineer, Shawn Nolan, the team worked on many different options to hide structural elements under the deck system to make the roof appear to be more of a floating and stunning visual element.
PRG also provided video and audio for use by speakers, announcers and DJs throughout the U.S. Open Experience. Additionally, the LED wall was used to reveal the tournament bracket.
“Helping create the U.S. Open Experience was a fun challenge and we are looking forward to doing it again in 2018,” said Hibbard.