Last night, the new retractable roof on the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships made its first closure and Untapped Cities contributor and photographer Steven Wu made a time lapse video of the event. He tells us that in real time, it took 5 minutes and 35 seconds which is collapsed into 15 seconds in the video.

Playing beneath the bright lights and new roof (which was partially constructed at last year’s U.S. Open) were Rafael Nadal and Andreas Seppi. But as USA Today reported shortly after the match, “The loudest cheers Wednesday night inside Arthur Ashe Stadium weren’t for two-time U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal. Instead, they were for history: The first-ever closing of the new roof over the stadium.” Those in the audience, including Wu and his family, had the momentous sense that history was being recorded. 

The roof renovation project comes at a price tag of $150 million, with additional renovations to the Grandstand court. Total renovations at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park totaled $500 million. Once the roof closes for a game, it stays closed despite any improvement in weather – which did happen last night.

Looks like the Slamboni, the Zamboni-like cleanup vehicles designed for the U.S. Open will have a little less work to do starting this year. Here’s a video of them at Arthur Ashe Stadium last year:

Next, discover the Top 10 Secrets of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

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