Cuomo gives nod to $500M tennis center expansion

September 06, 2013 03:46PM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today approved the U.S. Tennis Association’s $500 million plan to expand the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.

“As the site of the U.S. Open, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center brings thousands of fans to New York every year, boosting our tourism industry and spurring local economic activity,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Today’s legislation will help make that possible, by allowing the expansion and improvement of this sports complex, while also creating more than 1,500 jobs for the community.”

The legislation will permit the city to hand over two-thirds of an acre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the USTA to allow it to build new grandstands and an expanded parking space at the center. As part of the plan, the USTA is looking to tear down two aging stadiums inside the 46-acre site it leases from the city and build new ones.

USTA Chairman Dave Haggerty said that the legislation would allow “the longstanding tradition” of the US Open, one of the premier events of the global tennis calendar, to continue. — Hiten Samtani