US Open tennis site in Queens being converted to medical center, commissary

Louis Armstrong Stadium
Louis Armstrong Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Parts of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens — which hosts the US Open every year — will be used as a temporary aid station to assist the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

Beginning on Tuesday, an indoor training area will be converted into a 350-bed medical facility, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier confirmed with AMNewYork Metro. 

The New York Post reported that the initial plan is that the site will be used to house patients who have not been affected by COVID-19. New York City’s emergency management office has yet to comment on inquiries from AMNewYork confirming that.

Elsewhere among the Billie Jean King Center’s grounds, Louis Armstrong Stadium — the 14,000-seat venue that is the No. 2 court behind Arthur Ashe Stadium — will also be used as a commissary in which 25,000 meals will be prepared daily for medical patients and healthcare workers along with schoolchildren. 

As it stands, the US Open is still scheduled to take place later this summer, beginning on Aug. 24. The Queens-based tournament is usually the final major of tennis’ annual Grand Slam, which also features the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and French Open. 

The French Open was postponed until Sept. 20 while an announcement canceling Wimbledon is expected to come sometime this week.

Trivial byproducts of an international pandemic, which has seen New York City become one of the epicenters of the outbreak. 

As of Tuesday, New York City had 40,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19, per the city’s health department. That’s more than half of the entire states’ positive tests. 

The rising numbers have filled New York City-area hospitals to capacity, forcing government officials to look elsewhere to ensure there is enough space and resources for all in need of medical help. 

In Manhattan, the Jacob Javits Convention Center has been transformed into a 2,910-bed medical facility and on Monday morning, the 1,000-bed hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in New York Harbor.