Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Prepares for a ComebackJuly 11, 2013 - by Linda Sheridan
After years spent in dilapidation—save for an occasional film cameo, as in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, or reference (Don Draper attending a Rolling Stones concert on Mad Men)—The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, a former home base of the U.S. Open and a 16,000-seat concert venue, is poised for a comeback. English folk-rock group Mumford & Sons is performing at the stadium Aug. 28. An agreement is also in the works to host an additional 18 concerts over the next three years. The stadium is just minutes away from New York City via the Long Island Railroad, and just two blocks away from the LIRR’s Forest Hills station.
The stadium is owned by the adjoining Forest Hills West Side Tennis Club, which in 2012 celebrated its 100th anniversary. The stadium hosted the U.S. Open from 1915-20, and again from 1924-1977, until it outgrew capacity and moved in 1978 to Arthur Ashe Stadium in Fresh Meadows-Corona Park.
In later years, it served as a popular local concert venue. Artists who have performed there include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, The Who, and many others. By the late eighties, the frequency of concerts began to wane, coupled with the neighborhood’s lackluster feelings about the venue because of crowds, litter and parking issues.
Construction is furiously underway to prepare the stadium for its big night. Profits from the upcoming concert will, in part, help bankroll the stadium’s renovations. This summer’s concert will serve as a test run, to convince residents of bucolic Forest Hills Gardens that reviving the stadium as a concert venue is a lucrative move for the community.
Tickets are on sale this week via the Mumford & Sons official website.
Forest Hills Stadium has launched its new site, foresthillsstadium.com