Other than league play, the greatest benefit of being a USTA member is the ability to purchase US Open tickets before they go on sale to the public. But don’t fool yourself. You’re not really competing against the general public. You’re competing against your fellow members in a chance to snap up the most-coveted tickets in all of American tennis.
The pre-sale begins in just twelve days, on 9:00 am EDT Tuesday, April 24, 2012 and ends Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Forget the end date. You will want to purchase on the very first day and maybe in the first five minutes.
Fans may remember the Tennis East Coast editorial about Arthur Ashe last year. Although I’m not espousing that you ever buy tickets in the Ashe upper promenade, how else are you getting into the men’s or women’s final?
What not to buy: Grounds passes and early round sessions generally do not sell out, and never during a member pre-sale. If you wait until July or August, you can score the same seats to the early rounds for less online. You can even get court side Armstrong box seats for less than the face value of a reserved (upper) seat in that stadium. Although the night session at Ashe is not a particularly good value in terms of time or money for a die-hard fan, the USTA’s buy-one-get-one-free deals may make it worth your consideration.
Here are the top five tickets to purchase quickly at presale:
1. Men’s Final: It has been a hot ticket for a long time, but in the last two years, you can’t find a pair on Ticketmaster after the member pre-sale. In fact, you might miss out if you don’t buy within the first half-hour.
2. Women’s final: Although you may still find a pair a couple of days into the pre-sale, don’t expect them available to the general public on Ticketmaster.
3. Men’s semis: Held on the same Saturday as the women’s final, availability for these tickets will also not survive the pre-sale.
4. Super Saturday/Labor Day weekend: The hierarchy goes like this–Saturday and Sunday are hot, hot, hot and Monday usually has more availability.
5. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day: Since you think you already knew everything I’ve told you above, I’ve saved the best for last. With Courtside Ashe tickets going for $800 and up, this is the sweetest pre-sale secret of all. For $40, you get a Courtside box seat for Kids’ Day, with up-close views of music and exhibition tennis. While you can purchase a reasonable ticket upstairs to Kids’ Day well into August, the courtside tickets are open to all and sell out within an hour. No little ones? No worries. There’s no rule that you need to bring a child to the event. With these seats, even a kid at heart will enjoy the view.