Box seats for opening night at the US Open tennis tournament in Flushing, New York. Not a bad deal if you can swing it. And I almost didn’t bother to show up.
Starwood and their social media marketing team held contests via Twitter and FaceBook to give away the seats in their box for opening night. I don’t really follow the hotel programs so much so I didn’t even know the contest was going on. I found out about it quite quickly last Thursday when a friend announced that he had won. Said friend isn’t in New York and couldn’t use them and didn’t want them to go to waste. Fortunately I was available to help out on that front.
Thanks to Hurricane Irene the FedEx delivery of the tickets didn’t work out so well but that’s what Will Call is for, right? How hard could that be? Apparently harder than I thought as they left one ticket for me and one for my wife who ended up not coming. A friend did instead. Convincing the ticket agent to let me sign for her ticket was quite a challenge (even the SPG rep had trouble) but eventually we got that sorted as well and finally made it into the stadium.
I love the USTA facility.
There isn’t a bad seat anywhere on the property. The smaller courts offer up close and personal views of the action, especially in the early rounds. And the sight lines in Arthur Ashe Court are phenomenal from every seat. That said, the SPG box seats are incredible.
|Great views of the opening round women’s match from the SPG box seats.|
The box seats also had us directly adjacent to the President’s Box area of the stadium. That was great for celebrity spotting. Alec Baldwin and Tony Bennett were among the stars out for the festivities. Lots of fun.
|Views from the 300-level seats aren’t so bad either. I stopped by to visit a friend up there.|
As I mentioned above, I almost didn’t show up for the night. I wasn’t particularly keen on heading out to Flushing on my own. Fortunately I found someone at the office who was willing to go with me. That contributed to part of the problem with picking up the tickets at Will Call, but it was way better to have gone than not.
|Some of the goodies provided by SPG at the event. There was a full Westin toiletry kit, too.|
We also got to experience the inanity that is security at the USTA. No laptops are permitted, unless you are a credentialed sponsor. Ditto for metal water bottles. It wasn’t that there was water in it, but that it was metal. Go figure. Fortunately we had the SPG sponsor with us and she was able to bring my stuff in for me.
The tennis was a lot of fun to watch and all that much better thanks to the food and beverage provided and the great seats. Plus, they managed to maintain the brand standards in the bathroom, with Westin amenities on offer. I didn’t see the loofa though.
Overall, a wonderful event and very well managed by the folks at Starwood. Thanks for the great time!
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