2018 US Open Tennis Tournament: By the Numbers
The US Open celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with the completion of a $600 million transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The only Grand Slam tennis event held in North America has come a long way since Arthur Ashe raised the first winner’s trophy in 1968.
Total prize money was a mere $100,000 that first year, with the men’s winner entitled to $14,000, while Virginia Wade pocketed $6,000 as the women’s champ.
Ashe was an amateur, so his prize money actually went to the runner-up, Tom Okker. The US Open became the first Slam to offer equal money to men and women in 1973.
The total prize money 2018 edition is a record $53 million, with $3.8 million apiece for the men’s and women’s singles champions.
New features at this year’s US Open include a rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium, a serve clock (which triggers a violation for taking more than 25 seconds), sponsors (Rolex replaces longtime timekeeper Citizen Watch) and additional gluttonous food options (including hand-made ice cream cookie sandwiches from Melt Bakery).
And the two-week event should deliver its usual offerings of post-midnight matches and celebrities galore, such as tournament regulars Alec Baldwin, Anna Wintour and Jerry Seinfeld
Pharrell Williams, Megyn Kelly, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Shania Twain were among the celebrities at the 2017 US Open.PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
Here are the numbers you need to know for the 50th anniversary of the US Open.
1: Simona Halep and Rafael Nadal are the top seeds in their respective brackets for the 2018 US Open.
Nadal is the defending men’s champ and has won three times, including 2010 and 2013. Halep’s best showing was a semifinal appearance in 2015.
2: Mercedes-Benz showrooms at the National Tennis Center. Fans can take a photo with a life-size image of defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who recently inked a brand ambassador deal with the German automaker.
5/2: Novak Djokovic is the betting favorite to win the men’s title, followed by Rafael Nadal (7/2) and Roger Federer (9/2).
Each of the Big Three is gunning for their second Slam of 2018. The women are headed by Serena Williams (11/2), Simona Halep (6/1) and Angelique Kerber (7/1).
5: Most men’s singles titles during the Open era with Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer all sharing the record.
The People’s Champ: Five-time Open winner Jimmy Connors made an unforgettable run in the tournament in 1991—at age 39. BETTMANN
5:26: Longest match in US Open history had Stefan Edberg defeat Michael Chang in the 1992 men’s semifinals.
6: Chris Evert and Serena Williams have won the most women’s singles titles during the Open era.
$15: Cost of the always popular Fuku spicy fried chicken sandwich from Momofuku chef and founder David Chang.
19%: Percentage of 2017 patrons from outside the United States. Forty-three percent came from outside the New York City metropolitan area.
25: Seconds players will have to serve the ball. The US Open is the first Grand Slam to institute a serve clock in its main-draw competition, which is designed to increase the pace of play.
42: Average age of fans attending the 2017 US Open with 65% between 25 and 54. Only four percent are under 18.
51%: Male fans slightly outnumbered female fans in 2017.
$70: Cost of a grounds pass, including fees, on Ticketmaster for Day 1 of the US Open.
82%: Fans at last year’s event with a college degree. The U.S. average is 34%.
$148: Cost of a US Open ball girl navy polo shirt.
180: The US Open is broadcast in nearly 200 countries and territories.
$434: Average list price for tickets on the secondary market across all sessions, the highest of the decade, according to TicketIQ.
$1,045: Average price of the men’s final, per TicketIQ. The women’s final is $618.
7,000: Oversized tennis ball expected to be sold at the US Open.
66,000: Bananas expected to be consumed during the US Open.
10,000: US Open towels expected to be sold during the event.
$182,000: Median household income for fans attending the 2017 US Open.
225,000: Hamburgers and hot dogs served during the tournament.
275,000: Melon balls used to garnish the signature cocktail, the Honey Deuce, at the Grey Goose Bar.
691,143: Total attendance at the event last year, including an opening-day record of 61,839.
Rafael Nadal plays with a $725,000 timepiece by Richard Mille.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
$725,000: Cost of the Richard Mille watch Rafael Nadal wears while playing.
$3.8 million: Check awaiting the winners of the men’s and women’s singles event.
$18.1 million: Earnings for Serena Williams between June 2017 and June 2018, with only $62,000 from prize money due to a 14-month layoff to have her first child.
Williams earns twice as much from endorsements as any other female athlete.
22.7 million: TV viewers for the 2001 US Open women’s final between Serena and Venus Williams on CBS in prime-time.
Last year’s finals on ESPN attracted 1.9 million viewers for the women and 1.5 million for the men.
25 million: Worldwide album sales for Kelly Clarkson, who headlines the opening ceremony of the 2018 US Open.
$53 million: Total prize money, the largest in the history of tennis. Money at the other slams: Australian Open ($42 million), French Open ($46 million) and Wimbledon ($45 million).
$77.2 million: Earnings for Roger Federer between June 2017 and June 2018 from prize money, appearances and endorsements, tops among tennis players and seventh for all athletes.
$350 million: Projected total revenue for the 2018 US Open.
Ashe Stadium is now covered by a retractable roof that cost $150 million.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
$600 million: Cost of the multiyear renovation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
It increased capacity for 10,000 more fans per day and doubled the footprint of the retail and food options.
The biggest ticket items were the addition of a $150 million retractable roof over Ashe Stadium and a brand-new Louis Armstrong Stadium.
$825 million: Amount ESPN is paying over 11 years to televise the US Open.
Cover photograph by Al Bello/Getty Images