So, you have your tickets to the BB&T Atlanta Open, the third stop in the Emirates Airline US Open Series, and are counting down the days until you can go watch the best of the best in tennis face-off in your backyard…perfect! Now, read up on some important tips that will make this a memorable experience—for all the right reasons! These are tips from people who have been there and learned a thing or two. For example, it will be HOT!! You want to prepare for that…but you’re not allowed to pack a cooler, so what can you bring? Well, we’ll get to that, so keep reading.
WHO IS PLAYING WHEN?
The players for the tournament include local favorite and previous champion John Isner, along with Nick Kyrgios, Kevin Anderson, Fernando Verdasco, Alexandr Dolgolopov and Jeremy Chardy. You can also see Taylor Fritz, Borna Coric, Marcel Granollers, Benoit Paire, and Donald Young. As for when you can see them, that’s tough to say. With a single elimination tournament, the lineup will change each day. The only matches we know about the dates on for sure are the Exhibition matches, including the John McEnroe event (he stepped in for Andre Agassi after he injured his back). Agassi was set to play Sergi Bruguera in a rematch of their 1996 Olympics match, but McEnroe will now be playing against Bruguera.
You can take a look at the overall schedule by clicking here. Then, once the tournament is underway, you’ll be able to check that link again to see the daily list of matches.
WHERE DO YOU GO?
The Atlantic Station is the venue for this annual tournament (for five years running now) and you can park in the parking garages on property. The first two hours are free, but after that you’ll be charged a fee. You have to pay the fee at the machines before you return to your car to exit. Lexus is a sponsor of the tournament and offers special parking zones for Lexus owners. It’s complimentary and is located at the 20th Street parking lot near the northern part of Atlantic Station. There’s also valet parking near the Target parking deck. You can also take public transportation. You can take MARTA from the Arts Center station (running from 5am to 1am daily). By bus, the number 37 DeFoors Ferry Line will get you there. And Monday thru Friday, from Woodstock you can take the Route 491 Express to Atlantic Station.
Atlantic Station is a favorite Atlanta destination for shopping and dining, so stick around a little beyond the tennis action to try some of the restaurants and stores.
WHAT TO BRING?
Everyone can bring ONE water bottle—20 ounces or smaller—provided it’s in a clear, plastic container. You cannot bring a cooler of any kind. No food or beverage (beyond that one water bottle per person) is permitted—no glass bottles, no cans, no coolers, no ice chests, no thermoses and no picnic baskets. Got it? Good. They do sell concessions on the grounds, so you’ll have options, as long as you bring money to buy them. There’s water, soda, alcohol, ice cream, and typically burgers and other food options (in the past, that included barbecue).
WHAT TO LEAVE AT HOME OR IN THE CAR:
You cannot bring any of the following items:
Sealed packages of any kind
Aerosol Cans (including suntan lotion)
Commercial photographic or video cameras or recording devices
Tripods or Monopods for cameras
Hard coolers or like containers
Glass bottles or cans
Food (except for medical dietary or infant purposes)
Beverages (excluding 20 oz. or smaller sealed plastic water bottles, one per person),
Weapons (regardless of permit)
Pets (unless a service animal)
Flags, banners, or signs, laser pointing devices, tennis racquets, bicycles, scooters of any type, in-line skates, roller skates, skateboards, and any other items deemed unlawful or dangerous by the management of the BB&T Atlanta Open, in its sole discretion.
(I don’t really understand the tennis racquet rule, but they must have their reasons.)
Well, not here, at least not while you’re at the tournament site. It’s strictly prohibited– directly or indirectly—to wager on tennis matches while at the tournament site. In their words, “Allowing betting companies, directly or through a third party, to accept any tennis wagers (electronically or otherwise) at the tournament site or any tournament related event is prohibited.”
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
You are allowed to leave and re-enter, as long as you hold on to your ticket stub.
You can watch matches on either competition court, but you can only watch afternoon sessions if you paid for an afternoon seat, and evening sessions if you bought an evening seat. You can’t see both unless you have a ticket for both. This really only applies to Fridays and Saturdays, since the rest of the days only have one session. Also, you can enter the stadium up to an hour before the start of the first match of the session.
WHERE DO YOU SIT?
Your ticket will designate the area where your seat is located. Everyone over the age of 12 months must have a ticket to enter.
The players and umpire sit on the West side of Stadium Court. There are eight different levels of seats: North View VIP Suites, City View VIP Suites, Presidential VIP Suites, Champagne Tables, Lexus Inner Circle Seats, Platinum Seats, Gold Seats and Silver Seats.
City View VIP Suites are located above court level with easy access to the VIP Lounge. Lexus Inner Circle seats consist of the first row of the stadium. Platinum, Gold and Silver seats are all individual stadium seats, with backs.
North View VIP Suites, City View VIP Suites, Presidential VIP Suites, Champagne Tables and Lexus Inner Circle tickets all grant spectators access to the indoor, air-conditioned NEW Lounge overlooking the Grandstand Court with food and beverage included for each session!
WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR?
Something lightweight that it’s ok to sweat in…a lot. I’ve been to the last six tournaments in a row and they all had one thing in common: blazing heat. I remember the first one I attended (pre-Atlantic Station days) the heat was so intense they had to call for an ambulance dozens of time for cases of heat exhaustion. I learned then to hydrate BEFORE the match, but also to try to match every alcoholic drink with a water. I also learned cups of water are magical in keeping you cool. Wear sunscreen, and pack your sunglasses and visor/hat, if you’re going to be there during the day. It’s better at night, but there are times I felt the sweat pouring down my back at evening sessions, too.
IS THERE SOMETHING BESIDES TENNIS TO SEE?
Sure! Other than the food and restaurants, CocaCola will have a special Olympics attraction set up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Atlanta hosting this worldwide event. There will be Olympians signing autographs and meeting with fans, along with some of the memorabilia on display. It’s free and open to the public—with or without a ticket to the tennis tournament.
Lexus will also have its #FuzzyNX –a Lexus SUV wrapped as a tennis ball–on display, along with some other models. You can’t help but appreciate an entire car wrapped in tennis ball felt. And yes, it’s the same stuff they use on the balls. They promise.
This year’s special events will also include Ladies Day activities (this is August 4th and includes a VIP Lunch before match play begins, VIP Site Seating for the match play—its tented with fans, and you get 4 vouchers to the bar and massage services are offered, plus, there’s a Q & A with Fernando Verdasco)…
This year there will also be a Fireworks Show sponsored by Coca Cola one evening, a Family Zone by Wilson, and Tennis Night on the Town.
You can get tickets online at www.bbtatlantaopen.com or by calling the Ticket Hotlines: 855 307-1981 or 404-941-9202.