US Open ticket prices rise ahead of Serena Williams’ final tournament



Serena Williams reacts during a post-match ceremony after losing to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on Day 5 of the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium on August 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario.

Robert Prange | Getty Images

As Serena Williams prepares for her final US Open before her retirement, tickets to see the tennis legend play are in high demand.

The US Tennis Association alone sold more than 16,500 tickets on August 9, when the tennis champion announced her upcoming retirement, according to the organization – more tickets sold than the previous seven days combined. The tournament begins on Monday August 29.

“We are now basically sold out for Monday (opening night), Tuesday and Wednesday night,” a USTA spokesperson told CNBC.

The USTA has not disclosed financial projections for the famed Queens tennis tournament, and Williams’ announcement came so close to the start of the tournament that it’s unlikely his retirement resulted in additional sponsorships, which are usually fixed well in advance.

Secondary ticket reseller site Stubhub said average daily dollar sales more than doubled and the number of tickets sold per day more than tripled. The popular ticketing site said it has seen sales increase 40% since Williams’ announcement.

“Demand for the US Open continues to rise as we approach a week after the start of the first round. We encourage fans to get tickets now if they want to go, as legends like Rafael Nadal or Serena Williams progressing through the game can have a big effect on demand,” said StubHub spokesman Adam Budelli.

On ticketing site TicketIQ, prices for the US Open have risen 34% since the announcement of Williams’ retirement. Prizes for this year’s women’s final have also increased in recent days, with the average price reaching $1,289.

“The list price of $1,289 is also the most expensive women’s final we’ve ever tracked, 37% higher than the previous most expensive, the 2019 final, which was also the last time Serena competed in the final. of the US Open,” TicketIQ said.

“Despite decision makers placing Serena as the 13th most likely woman to win the US Open 2022, ticket sellers are pricing the final as if she would be there,” TicketIQ CEO Jesse Lawrence told CNBC.

Williams has won the US Open six times in her career, most recently in 2014. She is coming off a tough loss to Britain’s Emma Raducanu in the first round of the Western & Southern Open, a Women’s Tennis Association event in Mason, Ohio. .

“I don’t know if I’ll be ready to win New York. But I’ll try,” Williams wrote of the tournament in Vogue magazine’s article announcing her retirement.

The tennis icon turns 41 next month and says she’s ready to focus on growing her family after decades of focusing on tennis. She is married to Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian and has a 5-year-old daughter, Olympia.

During her prolific career, Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles, the second all-time, behind Margaret Court, and more than $94 million in career earnings, twice as much as any other female athlete. She was also instrumental in introducing African Americans and girls into the sport.

Forbes estimates the net worth of the tennis star at around $260 million.

“I started playing tennis with the goal of winning the US Open. I didn’t think beyond that. And then I kept winning,” she wrote in Vogue.

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