Events and News

Thanks In Part to Cast Connections, Arthur Ashe Roof Debuts

September 20, 2016

The retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium, home of the tennis U.S. Open, debuted this fall to rave reviews. Rafael Nadal was the first player to play under the roof, when he beat Andreas Seppi of Italy.

"It's an amazing event. I'm very happy to be the first player in history to play with the roof closed," Nadal said on court in an interview with ESPN. "The conditions are pretty similar when it is closed when it's open."

That $150 million roof, which is structurally independent from the stadium, was made possible by castings.

In March, MODERN CASTING profiled how Cast Connex (Toronto) and Kansas City, Missouri-based Bradken teamed to produce cast connections at ground level of the stadium. Each of the eight connections weighs around 7,700 lbs. (3,492.7 kg) and connects to 30-in. (76.2 cm) diameter steel braces on one end. On the other, they’re welded to the 40-in. (101.6 cm) diameter columns.

“They’re at the interface between the very large diameter bracing and columns,” Carlos de Oliveira, principal, Cast Connex, said last spring. “The casting transitions from the round brace down to a relatively thin vertical plate, providing an organically shaped transition between the two geometries.”

Seeing their work come to fruition was rewarding for both de Oliveira and Wayne Braun, director of business development – industrial products, Bradken.

“Bradken was honored, when selected by Cast Connex, as an experienced structural cast steel and structurally exposed cast steel supplier,” Braun said via email. “The design work and cast components used in the Rossetti concept for the retractable roof, provides further validation for the use of cast steel connections. Serving an “ace” for US Open tennis players and fans alike!”

de Oliveira was also enthusiastic.

“Cast Connex is proud to have enabled the architects at Rossetti to support the new retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium on architecturally exposed structural steel castings, and to have played a role in ensuring that tennis will be played, come rain or shine, at the U.S. Open for years to come,” he said.