The director of the Western & Southern Open says new seating in the south building of the Lindner Family Tennis Center is the first of its kind in the world for tennis. Andre Silva showed off the new construction Thursday, three weeks before the start of the tournament.
Silva explained why it is a first. "It's not a suite. It's enclosed, in air-conditioning close to the court," he says.
The $25-million, five-story structure sits between center court and the grandstand. It's the tallest occupiable building in Mason. (Kings Island's Eiffel Tower is the tallest, but not occupiable.)
Three of the five levels are for fans and have different levels of pricing. All of the levels have access to restaurants. The top level of the building is for media.
Even though you'll be indoors, expect to feel like you are outside when it comes to hearing movement on the court, says Media Director Pete Holterman. "We're going to bring in a unique mix of sounds so you can hear everything," he says. "You're going to hear the sneakers squeaking. You'll hear the out calls from the chair umpire. You might even hear the arguing about the out call."
This video shows a virtual tour of the space.
The indoor stadium seats look out through a 1.5-inch thick, 14-foot tall structural glass allowing for crisp, clear and uninterrupted views of the court. The panels are so large they had to be brought over from a fabrication facility in Europe.
The tournament says the economic impact of the most recent event, combined with the capital improvements, is estimated to be $123 million.
This year's tournament is August 11-19.