NYC has 8.5 million residents, 55+ million visitors per year and 1.8 million workers who come into the city each working day. That’s a lot of people, so the City is set up to cope with all the transport, infrastructure, media and crowd management issues that are part of keeping everything humming along. Then when the usual hustle and bustle kicks up a notch for some reason like, a holiday weekend, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, the U.S.Open or the New York Marathon then the accumulated experience of handling big events comes to the fore and everything appears to happen very smoothly. But that’s on the surface, underneath really hard work is going on.
Right now the U.S. Open is about it kick off, a 2 week period at the beginning of September during which women, men, seniors, juniors and wheelchair tennis players will compete in singles and doubles events to be the champion in their class. But’s that’s what’s on public view.
Behind the scenes, epic amounts of organizational magic have to be worked. The logistics of running the U.S.Open are daunting: 700,000 fans, 7,000 staff, 60 concession stands, 6 restaurants, 3 stadia, 33 courts in all, 21 offcial sponsors and a heap of NYPD, FDNY, Security staff and medical staff and 275 ball staff, see NYTimes.
A huge amount fo food, consumer goods and other necessities have to be unloaded at 5 loading docks and every truck, driver and box of goods that comes into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in flushing Meadows Queens, has to be marked off a check list in order to handle the security assocaited with a huge event like this.
It all happens seamlessly because the overall command structure is tight, the flow of people and goods is monitored electronically and what each staff person has to do is tightly specififed. Adjustments have to be made as things unfold but there’s a structure there to allow that to happen with brisk efficiency.
Of course the public, TV, Media and Social Media focus is on the players and it is their drawing power and glamor which drives the whole event. Not to mention the antics that some of those players get up to. But never forget that behind the scenes NYC has done it again, mounted a huge event and made it all look easy, when it’s not. It’s the result of a superbly integrated piece of big event management that NYC pulls off time and time again.