Summer in New York City isn’t complete for many without a trip to the US Open. But this year’s final tennis Grand Slam is proving expensive even for New Yorkers accustomed to high prices.
(Bloomberg) — Summer in New York City isn’t complete for many without a trip to the US Open. But this year’s final tennis Grand Slam is proving expensive even for New Yorkers accustomed to high prices.
Courtside seats for the men’s finals are being offered at over $20,000 a person on resale sites, and in the nosebleed section, sellers are seeking more than $700 a ticket. Ahead of the final, even grounds passes — which offer general admission to matches between lower-ranked players and don’t include entry to the marquee Arthur Ashe stadium — are frequently exceeding $200.
Marc Viscardi, 40, said he paid almost $300 for tickets in the same section of the stadium that cost $79 12 years ago.
“This year, the prices felt that much more audacious,” said Viscardi, who has attended the US Open every year since moving to New York from Arizona in 2010, with the exception of 2020 when grounds were closed to fans during the pandemic. “It’s rare that the price of an event or concessions jumps out because we don’t have the same sticker shock living in New York, but this year it really did.”
There were a record 502,385 spectators during the first week of the tournament, with patrons lining up for a chance to watch stars including Coco Gauff and Carlos Alcaraz. Heightened anticipation surrounded matches including Tuesday night’s showdown between Ben Shelton and last year’s semifinalist Frances Tiafoe, as well as Gauff’s fourth round battle against former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. Stands have been packed despite a late season heat wave that is forecast to keep temperatures above 90F (32C) for three consecutive days.
Last weekend, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens saw 201,787 fans over three days. That’s the first time attendance over the Labor Day holiday period topped 200,000, according to the organization. Ticket resales this year are currently outpacing last year’s championship by more than three times, according to StubHub.
Americans’ strong demand for experiences and entertainment has been a big part of the reason for high prices, whether it’s tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour or to see Lionel Messi smash in goals for Inter Miami. Prices for admissions to sporting events rose 5.9% last month, the most this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Another reason for the high prices is how tickets are now bought and sold. Ticketmaster has said single-session tickets are subject to dynamic pricing, which can send ticket prices skyrocketing based on demand.
Luckily for fans, food and beverage prices haven’t jumped as much as tickets. The US Open’s signature cocktail, the Honey Deuce cocktail — a mixture of vodka, lemonade, chambord and melons that look like tennis balls — is still listed at $22, the same as a year ago when the price was raised 10%. But some are noticing a change in quality.
“Honey Deuces are a part of our plan at the US Open, they’re now on draft so it doesn’t even feel like you’re getting a specially created cocktail,” said Viscardi.
–With assistance from Molly Smith.
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