City of New York Honors Dinkins

September 2, 2008

FLUSHING, N.Y. — The USTA today announced that the City of New York will rename the base of the pasarelle just outside the East Gate public entryway to the US Open, the “David Dinkins Circle.”

As City Clerk, Manhattan Borough President and then Mayor, Dinkins’ contributions to tennis and the US Open were many—ranging from assisting the USTA’s relocation of the tournament in 1978 from the private club setting of Forest Hills to its current home in a New York public park (the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is now the world’s largest public tennis facility), to helping to re-route air traffic from neighboring LaGuardia during the tournament, and then helping to develop the contract that kept the US Open in New York City.

Since 1999, Dinkins has been a member of the USTA’s Board of Directors and Management Committee. He also is as a member of the Board of USTA Serves, the association’s philanthropic arm, and a long-time Board member of the New York Junior Tennis League. Dinkins has spoken out effectively within the USTA on behalf of greater diversity and on fulfilling the late Arthur Ashe’s vision of using tennis as a tool for youth and community development.

“This is a fitting tribute to David, who has done so much for the sport and for the US Open here in New York City,” said Jane Brown-Grimes, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “David’s assistance has been an integral part of the success of this great event.”

“Tennis has long been an important part of my life and I have seen first-hand its great benefits in terms of helping young people develop confidence, integrity, and important life skills,” said Dinkins. “This a great honor for me personally, but more, it is a reflection of all the hard work of my many dedicated staff members through these years. It’s wonderful to know that my name will forever be associated with this tournament, which has provided me many great memories.”

Later today, New York Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other special guests, including former Mayor Edward Koch, former Dinkins administration staffers, and New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum will take part in a special dedication ceremony. The Circle, commemorating the 1964 World’s Fair, serves at the gateway through which most of the 700.000 annual visitors pass to attend the US Open.