A ground pass at the U.S. Open allows you access to the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the tournament for a full day’s play. With a ground pass, you can watch matches at the outer courts and visit concession stands, merchandise shops, and other public areas of the grounds.
What does a ground pass allow you to do?
A ground pass grants you access to:
- All the outer courts where qualifying matches and various early round matches are played.
- The practice courts where you can watch players warm up before matches.
- The grounds, lawns, walkways, and public areas of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
- Food courts and concession stands.
- Merchandise shops.
- Information booths.
- Restrooms and first aid stations.
A ground pass does NOT allow access to:
- Arthur Ashe Stadium – The main 23,000-seat stadium where primetime night matches are played.
- Louis Armstrong Stadium – The second largest 14,000-seat stadium that hosts daytime matches.
- Luxury suites, restaurants, and bars that require special tickets.
Where can you sit with a ground pass?
With a ground pass, you can sit in the outer court stadiums to watch matches being played there. The outer court stadiums at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center include:
- Grandstand Court – 6,000 seat stadium
- Court 17 – 5,000 seat stadium
- Court 5 – 2,500 seat stadium
- Court 10 – 2,000 seat stadium
- Court 13 – 1,000 seat stadium
- Court 4 – 750 seat stadium
- Court 6 – 750 seat stadium
- Court 7 – 550 seat stadium
- Court 8 – 550 seat stadium
- Court 9 – 400 seat stadium
- Court 11 – 250 seat stadium
- Court 12 – 250 seat stadium
- All other outer hard courts and grass courts with open bleacher seating
You can sit anywhere there is open seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you arrive, the better seat selection you will have. But keep in mind the most popular courts fill up fast, so get there early!
What matches can you watch?
The matches you’ll be able to watch with a grounds pass include:
- Qualifying matches – Played the week before the main draw starts.
- Junior matches – Rising young tennis stars under 18.
- Men’s and women’s singles first and second rounds – Played in the first 3 days of the tournament.
- Men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles matches.
- Special exhibition matches may also be open to ground pass holders.
High quality tennis can be seen on the outer courts the first week of the tournament. You’ll get to watch rising stars and top pros practicing and warming up as well. Later rounds and most top players will play in Ashe and Armstrong stadiums starting the second week.
What are the best outer courts to watch?
The best outer courts to watch matches on with a ground pass are the Grandstand, Court 17, and Court 5 stadiums. These host high profile matches not scheduled on the two main show courts. You’ll see top players on these courts when their matches overlap with other big matches.
Other great outer courts include Court 10, Court 4, and Courts 6-8. Lots of great tennis can be enjoyed on these courts as well throughout the two weeks.
It’s fun exploring all the outer courts early in the tournament. Follow your favorites around or just pop around to whatever match looks interesting!
How much do ground passes cost?
Here are the ground pass prices for the 2023 U.S. Open:
|Day session (9am start)
|Evening session (7pm start)
|Full day pass (both day and night sessions)
Tickets can be purchased in advance on USOpen.org or on ticket resale sites. A limited number of passes are also sold at the box office on the day of play, but sell out fast for peak sessions.
Are ground passes available every day?
Yes, ground passes providing access to the outer courts are sold for every day of the tournament from the first qualifying matches until the finals.
Passes for the men’s and women’s singles finals days only allow grounds access prior to the finals. The main stadiums are closed off for finals ticket holders on the last two days.
What are the best days to use a ground pass?
The first 3-4 days of the main draw are the best time to use a ground pass. During this time, early rounds are played and you’ll get to see top players competing on the outer courts.
Days 1-4 allow access to all courts until the evening session starts. From the quarterfinals on, main stadiums are limited to ticket holders for those sessions.
Of course, hardcore fans may want to come every day the first week to maximize their tennis viewing! Avoid the finals weekends if only using a ground pass.
Are ground passes good for kids?
Ground passes can be great for kids! Children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult too. Consider doing just a day session so kids don’t get too tired out. Make sure to take breaks to get food, drinks, shop, and use restrooms.
Kids will enjoy seeing players practice, hitting on the kids court, getting autographs at the kids zone, and visiting the fountains and grounds. First week outer court matches provide plenty of tennis excitement too without huge crowds.
Any ground pass tips?
Here are some useful tips for making the most of your U.S. Open ground pass experience:
- Arrive when gates open – This gives you first pick of outer court seating before crowds arrive.
- Plan your day – Check the schedule online the night before and pick key courts/matches to target.
- Be flexible – Move around to wherever the action is rather than just staying put.
- Grab a court map – Available at information booths and helpful for finding your way around.
- Stay hydrated – Refillable water bottles can be filled for free at fountains.
- Wear comfortable shoes – You’ll do a lot of walking on the hard courts.
- Apply sunscreen – Not much shade so protect yourself on sunny days.
- Rest your legs – Make use of the benches dotting the grounds when needed.
- Recharge phones – Stations are available to power up your devices if needed.
How early should you arrive?
To maximize your court access and seating options, you’ll want to arrive when the grounds first open. For day sessions this is at 9am and for night sessions it is 5pm.
The earlier you can get there, the closer you can sit to courts and also enter prime courts like Grandstand and Court 17. If you don’t care where you sit, arriving 1-2 hours after opening is fine.
Can you bring food and drinks?
Yes! One great perk of having a ground pass is you can bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. This can really save you money compared to buying from on-site concession stands.
Some popular items fans bring:
- Water bottles – Freeze overnight and use as ice packs that melt for cold water.
- Snacks – Granola bars, nuts, fruit, sandwiches.
- Food in cooler bag – Can also pack with ice packs.
Double check current bag policies on the U.S. Open website before bringing a cooler bag or other larger items.
Can you bring a camera?
Yes, you can bring a point-and-shoot camera with a ground pass. Professional cameras (lenses 2 inches+) are not permitted in areas accessible with a grounds pass.
Phones and tablets can also be used to take photos and video. Just be respectful of other fans and standing to take photos during play is prohibited.
Is there wheelchair access?
Yes, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was designed to be wheelchair and scooter accessible throughout the grounds. Accessible seating is available on all courts.
Wheelchair escorts can also be arranged by visiting any guest services booth. More info on wheelchair services is on USOpen.org.
Are ground passes refundable?
Ground passes are not refundable. Rain delays, postponements or early match conclusions do not qualify for refunds or credits. The full value of a pass is based on access to the grounds for the entire session time.
However, if the entire day session is rained out and canceled, then credit may be issued for a future session. Check policies on your tickets or on the U.S. Open website when purchasing.
Can ground passes sell out?
Yes, ground passes sometimes do sell out for peak sessions during the tournament’s first week. Sessions later in the second week are less likely to reach capacity.
Passes often sell out first for day sessions on Labor Day Monday and kids day on the Tuesday before the tournament starts. The tournament’s opening day session is also very popular.
If a certain session is a must for your schedule, purchase well in advance online. Otherwise, walk-up passes can usually be found at the box office on most days.
Where can you buy ground passes?
You can purchase U.S. Open ground passes:
- Online – From USOpen.org, the tournament’s official website.
- Ticket resellers – Sites like StubHub often have passes available.
- Box office – On-site at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, while supplies last.
Buying in advance online is recommended to secure passes for high demand sessions. If walk-up passes are sold out, resale sites offer last minute options.
What are the mobile ticket options?
The U.S. Open offers mobile ticketing as an easy way to access your passes. To use this option you will need:
- A smartphone capable of accessing your tickets online.
- The U.S. Open mobile app downloaded.
- An account created on USOpen.org with your ticket purchase.
Your tickets will be visible in the app and can be scanned directly from your phone screen for entry. You don’t need to print out paper tickets!
What are some alternative ticketing options?
Besides a ground pass, here are some other U.S. Open ticketing options to consider:
- Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium individual tickets – Gain access to a specific session in one of the main venues. More expensive than a grounds pass but guarantees seeing top matches in Ashe.
- Loge tickets – Seated tickets in private box suites inside Ashe or Armstrong. Tickets are pricey but include excellent views plus food and beverages.
- Luxury suites – All inclusive hospitality with a private suite, exceptional views, gourmet dining, premium bars and more. Extremely expensive but ultimate luxury!
A ground pass gives you access to full days roaming the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds during the U.S. Open. While you won’t get into Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong main stadiums, ground passes deliver great outer court options the first week.
Securing a seat at Grandstand or one of the premier outer courts lets you enjoy top-notch tennis in an intimate setting. And exploring all the outer courts and their matches is a fun way to take in the early round action.
Arrive early, be flexible, and take in the electric atmosphere of the U.S. Open grounds on your own schedule with a ground pass! It’s an affordable way to experience this legendary tennis tournament in New York.